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Facebook Portal isnt listening to your calls, but may track data

When the initial buzz of Portal finally dies down, its the timing that will be remembered most. Theres never a great time for a company like Facebook to launch a product like Portal, but as far as optics go, the whole of 2018 probably should have been a write-off.
Our followup headline, Facebook, are you kidding? seems to sum up the fallout nicely.
But the company soldiered on, intent to launch its in-house hardware product, and insofar as its intentions can be regarded as pure, there are certainly worse motives than the goal of connecting loved ones. Thats a promise video chat technology brings, and Facebooks technology stack delivers it in a compelling way.
Any praise the company might have received for the products execution, however, quickly took a backseat to another PR dustup. Heres Recode with another fairly straightforward headline. It turns out that Facebook could in fact use data collected from its Portal in-home video device to target you with ads.
In a conversation with TechCrunch this week, Facebook exec Andrew Boz Bosworth claims it was the result of a misunderstanding on the companys part.
Facebook Portal isnt listening to your calls, but may track data

I wasnt in the room with that, Bosworth says, but what Im told was that we thought that the question was about ads being served on Portal. Right now, Facebook ads arent being served on Portal. Obviously, if some other service, like YouTube or something else, is using ads, and youre watching that youll have ads on the Portal device. Facebooks been serving ads on Portal.
Facebook is working to draw a line here, looking to distinguish the big ask of putting its own microphones and a camera in consumer living rooms from the standard sort of data collection that forms the core of much of the sites monetization model.
[T]he thing thats novel about this device is the camera and the microphone, he explains. Thats a place that weve gone overboard on the security and privacy to make sure consumers can trust at the electrical level the device is doing only the things that they expect.

Facebook Portal+ review
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