The New York Times has an interesting piece titled “What 7 Creepy Patents Reveal About Facebook.” And that headline is pretty spot on. Among its creepiest patents:
- Facebook can predict when you are likely to die: “This patent application describes using your posts and messages, in addition to your credit card transactions and location, to predict when a major life event, such as a birth, death, or graduation, is likely to occur,” the Times reports.
- Facebook can tell if your camera took a photo even if the metadata is stripped: “Another [patent] considers analyzing pictures to create a unique camera ‘signature’ using faulty pixels or lens scratches. That signature could be used to figure out that you know someone who uploads pictures taken on your device, even if you weren’t previously connected. Or it might be used to guess the ‘affinity’ between you and a friend based on how frequently you use the same camera,” the Times says.
- Facebook can spy on you using your phone’s microphone: “This patent application explores using your phone microphone to identify the television shows you watched and whether ads were muted. It also proposes using the electrical interference pattern created by your television power cable to guess which show is playing,” the Times says.
So, why are we all still using Facebook again?