If you find yourself under the scrutiny of both the European Union government and the United States Congress, it would be logical to stay away from the spotlight, if only for a moment. However, Facebook the Great don't seem to be bothered, and like Alexander, they want to see their empire grow and evolve: the company has now filed for a patent that will exploit users' data to obtain better ad targeting results.
"Absolute madness," one might think. Criticized worldwide for its data exploitation practices, demonized by the digital rights defenders, Facebook are back and demonstrating that they are not interested in the opinion of the small people. Their latest innovation: a patent used to better target users with the probable objective to delight advertisers by offering more accurate data than ever.
The latest innovation - a patent to better target their users
This is what this patent, filed last May and published today, consists of - it is an algorithm with which Facebook would obtain more information from your photos. To do this, the algorithm analyses different elements: the people tagged in pictures, the photo descriptions, but also the IP addresses of the person who published the photo and users sharing the same IP address, etc. Why would they need that information? Simply to identify members of the same family - or household - and target them with better and more relevant advertisements.
It is interesting to note that while this patent originally had an advertising targeting objective, the text is rather vague. The Verge explains that it is a method for analyzing "household size, household member characteristics, shared interests, which household members use which electronic devices, and whether those users are Facebook members". In short, who knows what Facebook is concocting for us. In any case, technology can be used for other purposes (e.g. to better combat terrorism by detecting profiles).
What do you think? Has Facebook finally crossed the line? Do you still use the social media network? Let us know in the comments.
Source: The Verge