How would you feel if one day, you could have a smart refrigerator with its own internet connection that you could connect to from your iPhone and change the temperature? Or how would you like to be able to control your house temperature at work from your desktop computer? Pretty cool huh? Well if Google has it’s way, those items could come at a severe price to your privacy.
That cool smart refrigerator may come with a catch in the form of targeted ads displayed prominently via their internet connection. That’s right, on Wednesday a financial report that was filed by Google back in December was picked up by the Wall Street Journal where the company talked about their plan to display ads on pretty much any device with an internet connection.
“We expect the definition of mobile to continue to evolve as more and more ‘smart’ devices gain traction in the market,” the filing stated and continued with, “For example, a few years from now, we and other companies could be serving ads and other content on refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities.”
I don’t know about you, but I live in Maryland and it’s illegal to even talk on my cell phone while I’m in my car and I know it’s illegal to have a TV screen in the front seat so how in the world can Google expect to play ads for you right on your car dashboard? I like having smart devices in my house but if my wi-fi bathroom scale is gonna show me ads for weight loss pills because it calculated my BMI to be a bit high this week I’m gonna go insane. Maybe I don’t want the internet knowing what I’m weighing in at this morning. Maybe I don’t want Google to know how many times I opened the refrigerator door today. How would you feel if you have a teenager living at home and the ads on the refrigerator enticed them to eat unhealthy food? I would like some type of privacy in my life.
As a business owner, I get it – I understand the entire idea of advertising and I accept it. Heck as a business owner, I do enough of my own advertising to know how critical it is to get the word out about my trade. Ultimately, the choice may be to not have such devices just to protect our own privacy.