Fox News’ Tucker Carlson revealed a September 2016 patent in which Google imagines how it can “take control of your parenting, your relationship with your children”.
In one example, Google plans to track if children are attempting to interact with their parent’s liquor cabinet and infer if “mischief” is taking place, before issuing a verbal warning to the child through the system’s speaker.
In another example, a hypothetical child called Benjamin is under 24/7 surveillance by Google’s cameras, whether he is using electronics or playing outside.
The system would aim to “coach” families on “areas of improvement,” and scold them if they are not spending enough time eating together.
Google responded to the Fox News story by issuing a pithy statement that read, “We file patent applications of a variety of ideas that our employees come up with. Some of those ideas later mature into products or services, some don’t.”
In another patent filed in September 2016, Google envisages sending the user personalized advertising based on what a camera observes, with the example being a link to buy or watch the Godfather movie based on the user having a copy of the Godfather novel on their nightstand.
Infowars reported on this very prospect 12 years ago when we drew attention to plans for tech companies to spy on user’s lifestyle choices and, “build psychological profiles which will be used for surveillance and minority report style invasive advertising and data mining.”
We specifically discussed Google’s plan to “use in-built microphones to listen in on user’s background noise, be it television, music or radio – and then direct advertising at them based on their preferences.”
12 years later, Google Home and other “home assistant” devices from Apple and Amazon now have this capability.
Carlson said the patents were a “terrifying illustration of the control these companies seek over our daily lives.”
What is being described is not far removed from the notorious telescreens in George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984, which were used by the totalitarian Party both as entertainment devices and as cameras to keep its subjects under close surveillance.
The only difference of course is that it’s currently voluntary to install such technology in your home, although whether at some point it becomes virtually impossible to live without it remains to be seen.