Facebook Wants Patent To Remotely Activate Smartphone Microphones

You know that nagging feeling you get that somehow Facebook is listening in on your private conversations through your smartphone’s mic? If you haven’t I’m willing to bet you have a friend or two that has. Facebook has vehemently denied that they have the ability to listen in on conversations. Mark Zuckerberg even assured Congress that was the case.

But just because they can’t yet — doesn’t mean they don’t want to. In a story first reported by Metro, Facebook has applied for a patent to do that very thing. The patent describes a method of activating our smartphone mics to listen in on TV ads and other ambient noise to gauge our reactions, and then sending that data back to Facebook. Ugh, could they get more creepy?

Photo: Cult of Mac

When reached for comment by Mashable Facebook said this:

Facebook, when reached for comment, claimed it has no intention of ever actually implementing the technology described in the application. Which, of course, makes one wonder why it bothered to apply for a patent on it in the first place.


It is common practice to file patents to prevent aggression from other companies,” Lo said in a statement to Mashable. “Because of this, patents tend to focus on future-looking technology that is often speculative in nature and could be commercialized by other companies.”


So they don’t plan on ever using that technology they just want to make sure no one else does either. I should have known Facebook was just trying to protect us.

I feel so much better…

What do you think about the patent? Do you believe they have no plans to use it? Tell us in the comments.

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