“Facebook has filed thousands of patent applications since it went public in 2012. One of them describes using forward-facing cameras to analyze your expressions and detect whether you‘re bored or surprised by what you see on your feed. Another contemplates using your phone’s microphone to determine which TV show you‘re watching. Others imagine systems to guess whether you’re getting married soon, predict your socioeconomic status and track how much you‘re sleeping.
”A review of hundreds of Facebook’s patent applications reveals that the company has considered tracking almost every aspect of its users' lives: where you are, who you spend time with, whether you‘re in a romantic relationship, which brands and politicians you’re talking about. The company has even attempted to patent a method for predicting when your friends will die.“
the lede to Sahil Chinoy's piece, “What 7 Creepy Patents Reveal About Facebook,” in today‘s New York Times.
What are the 7 Creepy Patents? They involve:
- Predicting whether you’re in a romantic relationship (Don't we already tell them this?)
- Using your posts and messages to infer personality traits—and thus ads
- Using posts, IMs, and credit card transactions to predict major life events
- Gving your camera a unique signature to further figure out your relationships (who else uploads your photos, etc.)
- Using phone mic to guess TV-watching habits. And more?
- Using phone to track weekly routine
- Using phone to track relationships
Yeah, they're not making me feel safer. Then again, who is?