New Facebook Portal devices will start listening to your conversations very soon

Facebook Portal
Image credit: Facebook

Despite skepticism around the first generation of Facebook Portal devices, which are designed to allow video chat between you and your online pals, the social media behemoth is already planning a second generation of the devices.

Facebook's vice president of augmented and virtual reality Andrew Bosworth announced the next-gen video chat devices at the Code Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

At the launch of the first generation of Portal devices, Facebook promised that they wouldn't listen to or record calls, but it later explained that things weren't quite that clear-cut.

"Portal voice calling is built on the Messenger infrastructure, so when you make a video call on Portal, we collect the same types of information (ie usage data such as length of calls, frequency of calls) that we collect on other Messenger-enabled devices," it said.

"We may use this information to inform the ads we show you across our platforms. Other general usage data, such as aggregate usage of apps, etc, may also feed into the information that we use to serve ads."

Human connection

At an event in Phoenix, Arizona, Bosworth explained that the next-gen Portals will feature "new form factors", but kept the exact details close to his chest.

Bosworth was also careful to steer the conversation away from privacy concerns, saying that Facebook is aiming "to make sure that human connection, connection between two people, is a first-party experience" .

You'll be able to decide whether that's an experience you want to invite into your home when the devices launch in a few months' time.

Via Engadget

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)