Facebook to detect what users listen to

From Huffington Post:

On Wednesday, May 21, [Facebook] announced a new opt-in audio recognition system that will be incorporated into its mobile app in the coming weeks. The function uses a person’s smartphone microphone to listen for what songs, TV shows or movies the user is currently hearing. The feature will listen for familiar audio — kind of like Shazam — and then give users the option to share what it finds as a status update.

According to techcrunch.com, the app will also recognize live sports.

Apparently, this is part of Facebook’s “feelings and activities function”, which allows Facebook users to pick from a list of feelings and activities, instead of having to go through the trouble of typing out what they’re doing and feeling, as if their Facebook “friends” really care. Rather, the convenience is for the benefit of Facebook’s friends.

From techcrunch.com, “It could inspire people to share more frequently”, which produces more exploitable data, and:

By selecting your current activity instead of merely writing it out, you structure data for Facebook. That could eventually help it to connect you with advertisers who want to reach people who frequently watch TV and movies, or listen to music, or eat at restaurants.

Could it also connect you with the Federal Government via the NSA?

From The New American:

In the wake of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Oliva, “roving bugs” are likely to become a favorite weapon in the ever expanding arsenal of the surveillance state. A person’s expectation of privacy when sitting at home talking to a friend is ridiculous in the face of the judicially upheld fact that government snoops may now use powerful surveillance technology to use your idle mobile phone as a very active mobile microphone.

…under the PRISM program, the NSA and the FBI are “tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time,” as reported by the Washington Post.

The joint venture has been functioning since 2007, but came to light only in a PowerPoint presentation that was part of the cache of documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Snowden claimed that the program was so invasive that “They [the NSA and the FBI] quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type.” According to the information Snowden released, Facebook cooperated with the snoops and gave the government access to the private information of millions of users.

This isn’t to suggest that there is a direct correlation between Facebook’s new sound recording feature and PRISM or the NSA’s quest to gobble up all electronic and digital communication and store them in vast mountain server farms. What it does point to, however, is the potential for unconstitutional surveillance such a service could be in the hands of the federal government, particularly in light of Facebook’s historical cooperation with it.

It’s no wonder the feds get away with such blatant spying. People who choose to advertise their every activity and emotion on an Internet site probably don’t care that government employees might be watching and listening to them.

Unfortunately, “they” have done a good job in conditioning many of the rest of us “useless eaters” into accepting our captivity.

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