A recently published patent application from Facebook describes a creepy way in which it could use our data.
Facebook filed for a patent that explores piecing together data about users’ entire household based on the uploaded photos, and it’s presumably for targeted advertising.
Instagram photos were also cited in the patent.
Facebook’s patent application was made public
The patent application was submitted initially back in May 2017, but it was made public just a couple of days ago, reports Gizmodo.
Facebook details a system for cross-referencing faces with other data which includes IP addresses, hashtags, comments, how frequently someone appears in our pics and more details to help them figure out who is in our household.
Gizmodo says that this is about something as simple as “your cousin posting a photo tagging your Thanksgiving dinner with the caption, “Thankful for my #family” could be enough for Facebook to glean your specific household information to, perhaps, make you a better target for Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads.”
This is not the best news ever, especially considering Facebook’s lousy track record of keeping our data safe and being transparent regarding its use.
Facebook’s use of people’s data
There are lots of ways in which Facebook mishandled or misinterpreted what it does with our data.
Offering advertisers the shadow contact info and poorly monitoring data handed to phone makers are just some examples in which they used data.
Anyway, the tech outlined in this particular patent application would glean data from photos users are posting themselves and not from private messages.
Companies are regularly submitting patent applications, and there isn’t any guarantee that they will ever use the tech highlighted there.
When Gizmodo reached out to Facebook, a spokesperson said: “Patents should never be taken as an indication of future plans; nor do we generally comment on specific coverage of Facebook patents or reasons for filing them.”
After finishing Theatrical Journalism at the Faculty of Theatre and Television in Cluj-Napoca, Rada reviewed movies, books, theatre pieces and she also wrote articles from the IT niche as a content editor for software producers. At the moment, she is working with various online advertising firms.