Facebook Launches NSA-Style Auto-Eavesdropping Feature

Tyler Durden's picture

"I hope there are people who love the feature and post more," says Facebook's product manager excitedly about the new feature they just added. We suspect people will not... As The WSJ reports, starting Wednesday, the app has the ability to recognize music and television shows playing in the vicinity of users. Read that again... 'in the vicinity of users'. In other words, Facebook is unveiling its own NSA-style eavesdropping feature (on you and all your friends). Don't worry though... even if users decide not to share what they’re hearing or watching, Facebook will hold onto the data in anonymous form, keeping tabs on how many users watched particular shows. Sound familiar?

 

We're listening...

 

As WSJ reports,

Facebook’s mobile app just grew a keen sense of hearing. Starting Wednesday, the app has the ability to recognize music and television shows playing in the vicinity of users.

 

The feature is designed to make it easier for users to share. When users begin to write a post, the Facebook app will offer to include information about music or shows playing in the background.

 

...

 

The audio-recognition feature works similar to the app Shazam, which also can identify music and television programming using the built-in microphones in mobile phones.

 

...Facebook says the app can recognize a live show within 15 seconds.

 

...

 

If enough users opt in, the new Feature could give Facebook enough data to start compiling television ratings. Even if users decide not to share what they’re hearing or watching, Facebook will hold onto the data in anonymous form, keeping tabs on how many users watched particular shows.

 

...By tapping on the show or song, users can post it to their news feeds and let other users know what Facebook has already figured out – what they’re seeing and hearing.

We are sure this will not be abused or hacked by the NSA... and we are sure there will be plenty of small digital print that users will understand... One wonders though, is there any way for non-Facebook users to know that they are being eavesdropped upon?