Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
IT | By Darin Griffith

Trust-challenged Facebook stresses privacy in launch of Portal video communication device

Trust-challenged Facebook stresses privacy in launch of Portal video communication device

Nick Fell, marketing director for the Portal team, said, "We set out to try and make video calling so good that it feels like you're sharing the same physical space as someone else." . Portal and Portal+ also come with a camera cover, for blocking the camera lens at any time and still receive incoming calls and notifications, plus use voice commands. These speakers can serve as hub-like controllers for "smart" homes as people install appliances, lighting and security systems that can be controlled over the internet. Facebook Live, the company's tool for broadcasting videos live, is not even an option on the Portal. Artificial Intelligence has been so integral for Facebook that it's in-app camera, powered by AR, is dubbed as an "AI Camera".

On Monday, Twitter users were quick to point to Facebook's privacy fallacies and what they saw as the company's impudence in asking people to trust it with a camera called Portal inside their homes.

Christopher Mims, tech columnist at The Wall Street Journal, equated Portal to the "Telescreen" from George Orwell's "1984."

With the products, Facebook will seek to bring some entertainment to your living room-camera and microphone rolled into one.

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The Portal devices have always been rumored to be released by Facebook, but they were delayed after Mark Zuckerberg delivered a testimony in front of Congress amid the Cambridge Analytica scandal involving a massive data breach that jeopardize the personal data of millions of Americans.

Last month, Facebook reported vulnerabilities in its account login mechanism that could affect more than 90 million users, who risked having their private information including names and passwords accessed by hackers. But Mr. Bosworth assured users that Portal is fully encrypted and won't allow even Facebook to "listen, record or stall" any of its content.

Facebook introduced the first gadget of its own design - a line of smart screens Portal, the company said. As well, the smart camera's AI runs locally, not on Facebook servers, and the camera doesn't use facial recognition. Still, there are other, less direct possibilities for the future.

Portal's smart camera can detect the number of persons in the room and automatically adjust itself to include everyone inside the frame.

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The Portal costs $199 and has a 720p screen resolution that stays fixed in a horizontal oriented with a speaker.

While many users are skeptical about the new device, many aspiring artists, musicians, and entertainers stated that they believe the camera could have value and allow them to perform hands-free for their Facebook live audiences.

You can carry Portal with you to places so that there is this way to remotely accompany people you love to spend your time with! These devices are still too much of a leap of faith right now for Facebook to ask of its users.

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