Now, Facebook wants to know how rich or poor you are with this new patent

Apparently, knowing about your likes/dislikes, your friends, your location and what you search on the internet just didn't cut it for Facebook.

Ever noticed how despite constantly asking “what’s on our mind”, Facebook always seems to know what you’re thinking? Well, apart from keeping a track of likes/dislikes, your friends, your search preferences and even your location, the social networking giant now also wants to know whether you’re rich or poor.

Reportedly, Facebook has filed for a patent which would allow it to know its users socioeconomic status, using which, it would segregate them into three categories — working class, middle class and upper class.

The patent, which was filed in July 2016 and was only made public on Friday, will automatically predict a user’s socioeconomic status by collecting data about their education, internet usage, travel history, and homeownership. According to a DailyMail report, Facebook will throw age-specific questions at its users to assess which socioeconomic status they belong to.


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“In the filing, 20 to 30-year-olds are asked how many internet devices they own, while 30 to 40-year-olds are asked whether or not they own a house,” the report stated.

As per the patent, the motive is to show a Facebook user more personalised (read: economically relevant) advertisements and improve on user targetting. The reason behind Facebook asking such sidestepping questions about income is that users are not always comfortable revealing how much earn on online systems.

The patent stated, “By predicting the socio-economic groups of users, [Facebook] is able to help the third party present sponsored content to the target users.” It went on to add, “Third parties are able to effectively promote their products or services, and the online system can provide a more engaging user experience to users.”

However, while speaking to The Hill, a Facebook spokesperson reported that they might not even use the technology. “We often seek patents for the technology we never implement, and patents should not be taken as an indication of future plans.” Yeah, so what are they even planning on doing with all that personal information?


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That’s not all, according to CBInsights, Facebook has filed for other patents including one which would monitor a users face with access to a front-facing camera or a webcam, even when the camera isn’t being actively put to use. Apparently, such a technology would help Facebook monitor its user’s emotional response to certain kinds of content. Ehm, WHAT?! Do they have no concern for ethics or what?

Needless to say, people didn’t respond very positively to the news:

Is this how Mark Zuckerberg planned on fixing Facebook? Seriously. Where does it end?