Perhaps the mandate should be that this feature is clearly labelled on the product as a product warning.
Why should anyone pay for this if they don't want it, a clear example of a feature all TVs have that doesn't benefit the consumer is HDCP, they pay for the chips to decode encrypted signals, they pay for the relevant patents and research, but this is a technology which reduces the functionality of TVs and audio-visual equipment in general.
(a) buy a TV that doesn't have a camera in it?
1) Cameras in TVs could become ubiquitous - can you find a new laptop without a camera?
2) The camera might not be advertised, the feature might not be mentioned.
(b) Don't connect the upstream connection?
This wouldn't necessarily be possible to stop if a network like BT openzone is nearby and BT did a deal with the TV makers to carry the data via WiFi.
(c) put a piece of tape or a conveniently placed object in front of the camera?
And what if you can't see it, do you rip your TV open to find it. Or it could be so close to the IR-sensor that if you block it then your remote also stops working?