privacy

New Facebook feature listens in to what you’re doing

facebooklistening

Soon, Facebook won’t have to ask what you’re doing; it’ll just know.

Facebook app users were in an uproar when they discovered the social media giant is releasing a new feature that activates the microphone on their smartphones to listen in on their surroundings. Essentially, the feature was created to use a sound recognition software to determine what TV show or movie a user is watching or what song they’re listening to. However, the simple fact that Facebook would be listening in was a uncomfortable thought to some users, so much so that a petition arose to halt the app from being released in the first place.

Currently, the feature is opt-in only, which means you have the ability to disable it. However, the discomfort for some users still remains.

This isn’t the first time a brand in the technology sector has had the ability to tap into your surroundings. According to Business Insider, Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect feature is always on, watching and listening. Pretty shady stuff right there.  Microsoft announced they are now selling a console without the Kinect option, making it cheaper and less Big Brother.

Of course, one of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind isn’t whether Facebook will continue with the feature. It all comes down to the blurry line of privacy with our smart devices. In an age where technology is advancing at an incredibly rapid rate, will our privacy continue to take the back seat? Will privacy become nonexistent?

What are your thoughts about the latest feature? Leave your comments below.

Google Reads Your Emails to Provide More Personalized Advertising

Courtesy: Google.com

Courtesy: Google.com

Someone’s reading your emails, and it’s not your employer or ex-girlfriend.

This Monday ( April 14),  Google updated Gmail’s Terms of Service, a portion of which clarifies how the company uses your email content for a more personalized web experience.

In it, Google states:

Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored.”

Many users are understandably upset by this and have called it an invasion of privacy.  However, Google responded by saying their actions are perfectly legal as users consent to such activity upon signing up to the free email service.

What do you think of Google skimming your email to make your web surfing more individualized? Sound off in the comments!