writes "In a just-published patent application for delivering Advertising that is relevant to a person, nine Microsoft inventors spell out plans for using cameras, remote controls and biometric sensors to detect the identity of the person viewing a TV, cellphone, or computer monitor display. This knowledge, coupled with previously collected info about the person's interests and hobbies, sex, age, locale, profession, subscriptions and memberships, ethnicity, marital status, parental status, pet ownership, and height as well as additional info gleaned from his or her address book, calendar, mail, IMs, to-do lists, notes, purchasing history, historical record of reactions to ads, search history, and media consumption history will then be used to allow advertisers to deliver highly-targeted ads."
Of course, this is just an application, rather than a granted patent, but it's hardly a unique idea. People have been discussing such things for years -- it's just that most people recognize it would seriously creep people out if it were ever put in place. Unless, of course, the company gives you $5/month
and suddenly the creepy factor subsides.