How Much Personal Data Would You Give Up for a Free 4K TV?

Tech startup Telly is making a huge bet: The company is giving away a dual-screen 55” 4K TV, plus a soundbar and a teleconferencing camera, music software, games, and more, to the first 500,000 people who ask for one. Score! If you’re interested, here’s the link: Before you sign up, there’s a catch: The TV may be free, but you’ll still be paying for it by signing yourself up for an advertising scheme that takes data collection to new heights. Should you enter the “Telly-verse,” your television will show non-stop ads geared to you on its lower screen whenever you watch anything. Telly also plans to run commercials on both screens when the TV isn’t even being watched. Willingly installing a potentially always-on digital billboard in your living room isn’t the only downside to Telly. The system will also come with a front-facing camera and microphone that will allow you to enjoy Zoom calls, free advanced motion-tracking fitness programs, and to control your TV with your voice. In exchange, Telly will collect a ton of information about you, including your listening and viewing choices, how long you watch/listen, how you interact with your television, and the physical presence of you and any other individuals using the TV at any given time. It’s a free TV, but if that last statement doesn’t make your blood run cold, you clearly have no concept of privacy. As if all this isn’t bad enough, if you choose to "close the curtains" on the camera and microphone, you’ll either have to return the TV or pay $500 for it. Listen to your mother, she was right: You never get something for nothing.