According to reports, a new Facebook update for the mobile phone app may well allow the company to listen to conversations through your phone.
The core of the technology here is much like Shazam, Facebook is going to offer services where your phone will listen to music, TV shows and other media and then give you the opportunity to share the details of that with your friends. It’s very clever, and potentially huge for advertisers.
The problem is though, if it runs constantly, or the user has little or no control over it, then there’s really nothing stopping Facebook from using that data to listen to your private conversations. Facebook, of course, says that it doesn’t intend to store that sound, and it may well not, but that won’t stop us users from noting the recent NSA scandal and wondering who is listening. It is, however, planning to store data about what you’ve been exposed to.
This news comes on the heels of Facebook announcing that it would reduce the anount that third-party apps could dump into your newsfeed, and that it was helping users to secure their profiles by being more proactive about setting the defaults to “private”.