Facebook wants to spy on you through webcam and smartphones

Published: 07 June 2017

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Social media giant Facebook announced it wants to get up close and personal to its users, by spying on them through webcams and mobile devices.

The platform said it wishes to monitor users' emotions in a bid to specifically target advertisements toward them.

As part of the idea, Facebook would watch people through a camera in real time as they browse online. The technology would then determine a persons emotions, based on whether they look sad, happy or bored.

It would then tailor advertisements toward you.

For example, if you were looking sad, ads which might make you happy will pop up on your screen.

Whether Facebook is actually going to implement this technology remains unclear, however, experts have described it as an “ethical minefield”.

New York-based intelligence firm CB Insights said “On the one hand, they want to identify which content is most engaging and respond to audience's reactions, on the other emotion-detection is technically difficult, not to mention a PR and ethical minefield.”

Other techniques listed by Facebook in regard to tailoring adverts, include using technology which would monitor how hard or fast a person is typing and whether the user included emoji’s within a message.

They believe this can also be an indication of a persons emotional state.

Facebook filed its initial patent application in 2015.

It is understood users would be notified in advance of any proposed chances.