Facebook's New Listening Feature An Invasion Of Privacy? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Facebook's New Listening Feature An Invasion Of Privacy?

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KHQ.com - Facebook has rolled out another new feature that is already drawing backlash from users.  The feature allows Facebook to listen in using the microphone on mobile devices and pick up what's happening around the user.

The feature is supposed to be a benefit to users, by listening in and then automatically adding something to the end of their status update.  For example, "Listening to Tom Petty" or "Watching the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon."

The backlash comes from Facebook users who find the idea of their Social Media site "listening" in on their lives. 

Facebook says the new feature is optional and will only listen in when the user is updating their status. 

A statement from Facebook reads:
“No matter how interesting your conversation, this feature does not store sound or recordings. Facebook isn’t listening to or storing your conversations.  Here’s how it works: if you choose to turn the feature on, when you write a status update, the app converts any sound into an audio fingerprint on your phone. This fingerprint is sent to our servers to try and match it against our database of audio and TV fingerprints. By design, we do not store fingerprints from your device for any amount of time. And in any event, the fingerprints can’t be reversed into the original audio because they don’t contain enough information.”

However, critics worry it might be hard for users to navigate opting out of the feature or many might not see the warnings to begin with.

An online petition has been started to convince Facebook to remove the feature: http://tinyurl.com/p7dogk9








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