Facebook has launched new efforts to save data captured by smartphone microphones, enabling them to listen in on private conversations.
The International Business Times reported:
In a press release issued Wednesday, Facebook announced a forthcoming app update in which a new feature uses the phone’s microphone to capture sounds in the user’s environment, then identifies the song, movie or television show the user is watching based on what it hears. Once the sound is ID’d, users have the option to share it as a visual component of their posts.
Though Facebook assured that “no sound is stored,” the company acknowledged to International Business Times that it does intend to archive the data gleaned.
Other sounds can be heard by the microphone, like random discussions , other people, children, and Facebook has not yet confirmed plans to use the same feature to gather such data.
Facebook has 1.3 billion active users worldwide, and is establishing a trove of data for interested parties.
When asked whether it intends to sell the data to third parties, Facebookdeclined to answer.
While the press release stressed that no sound is stored when Facebook accesses your microphone, company spokeswoman MoMo Zhao said:
“If a match is successfully made, the data is saved, but all data is anonymized and aggregated.”
This means Facebook does store data with the new feature, and it does not link the data to the user, it just doesn’t store the data it collects in a sound format. (META)
Facebook declined to say whether it collects data when no match is made from the sounds captured.
The company will be able to listen in to a users private conversations through in-built mics.
Facebook was implicated as one of the companies that collaborated with the National Security Agency’s mass public surveillance program, PRISM.