Facebook Wants to Determine Users' Emotions by Taking Secret Photos
Facebook has just filed a patent for a system that will allow the network to photograph you without your permission – and according to some experts, they have every legal right to.
The social media platform would increase content that people respond positively to, and reduce the frequency of content they respond negatively to. Even though there is already technology in place to curate a user’s news feed by taking note of what pages are unfollowed and other factors, the new system would assist in automating the process.Facebook has filed a patent for a system that would allow them to tailor user experience by analyzing users’ emotions. Using the front facing camera on a person’s laptop or smartphone, the platform would take temporary photos of the user to determine their emotional reaction to stories they see on on the social media site and adjust the content accordingly.
A spokesperson for Facebook explained to the Independent that filing a patent doesn’t necessarily mean the technology will be rolled out. "We often seek patents for technology we never implement, and patents should not be taken as an indication of future plans," they said.
Though innovative, using "passive imaging data" places Facebook in a kind of public relations and ethics grey area. The company has already faced criticism for targeting ads to teenage users based on their comments and for producing ads for certain medical conditions allegedly using users’ search histories.
It was also revealed in 2014 that the site conducted an experiment to see if it could manipulate users’ emotions by adjusting the feed of 700,000 users, later admitting that Facebook "failed to communicate clearly why and how we did it."....