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Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President and CEO, Gary Shapiro, responded to a federal court order forcing consumer electronics manufacturer SONICblue to develop and install new software in consumers' personal video recorders (PVRs) that would collect all information about what shows the users watch, record or send to a select and limited group.

Subsequently, SONICblue would then be forced to provide the information to the studios suing the company for allegedly contributing to copyright infringement:

"George Orwell must be spinning in his grave. Indeed, movie studios would be wise to remember that Big Brother may work as a 'reality-based' television program - but not as a rule of law," said Shapiro. "The court's order is highly troubling. It forces SONICblue to violate the trust of its customers and commit an incredible invasion of privacy. By court order, SONICblue would be forced to spy on consumers and record every 'click' of their remote control, noting how they watch and record television shows. The data collection would include monitoring if the user chooses to skip commercials, watch the same program more than once or delete a program.

"While the order mandates the data be collected on an 'anonymous' basis, it does require SONICblue to track individual users. Furthermore, it does not allow for users to 'opt out' of the data collection," Shapiro continued. "We also are concerned with the concept that a court can impose an order forcing consumer electronics manufacturers' to conduct surveillance activities on consumers. If the order stands, it will have a chilling effect on technological innovation and consumers' buying habits."

From SkyRetailer (Used with Permission)
 

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Isn't it ironic? Microsoft started doing data collection behind people's back, got caught and had to quit doing it. Now Sonic Blue is being ordered to do this? Where on Earth does this Court have it's head stuck? Up their A** I presume. I don't see this getting very far without a revolt from consumers.
 
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