You are sitting in bed in your pyjamas, drinking a cup of cocoa. A loved one lies next to you, watching late-night television. Pillow talk is exchanged. An alarm clock is set. Eventually the lights are turned out.
Earlier, you sat on the living-room sofa eating supper, before loading the dishwasher and heading upstairs.
You have, in other words, just enjoyed a perfectly normal night, in a perfectly normal home. The curtains are drawn, the central heating turned up. It’s cosy, relaxing and, above all, completely private. Or so you thought.
The truth turns out to be quite the opposite. For on the other side of the world, people you didn’t know existed are keeping a beady eye on your every move.
These characters can see what clothes you have been wearing and what food you’ve eaten. They heard every word you said, and logged every TV show you watched. Some are criminals, others work for major corporations. And now they know your most intimate secrets.
It may sound like a plot summary for a futuristic science-fiction movie. But real-life versions of this Orwellian scenario are being played out every day in towns and cities across the globe — and in most cases the victims have no idea.
At fault is a common electronic device invented nearly a century ago and found in almost every modern household: the domestic television set.
Put simply, our TVs have started spying on us.