Facebook could be used against you. Privacy is something that should concern everyone, yet social networking blurs the line between right and wrong.
No matter how much personal information you put online, more can be gleaned from you. Just think of advertising. Very little is coincidence. However, we can’t go into conspiracy theory territory. The world probably isn’t out to get you.
Nonetheless, Facebook can be utilised in some very interesting ways.
The head of Facebook's US-based Security Infrastructure team has defended a recent app update that uses a smartphone's microphone for Shazam-like audio recognition.
The feature was announced at the end of May, and was expected to roll out within weeks. Allowing Android and iOS users to "identify TV and music instantly," the app is capable of recording ambient sounds in the user's environment to recognise what show is on the TV or what song is playing.
Facebook has added a new feature to its mobile app as of Wednesday that uses a phone's microphone to identify ambient TV shows, music, or movies and include them in status updates. The feature is off by default, though the app offers to turn it on in an intro screen that it pops up for users.
Facebook and Zynga have defeated class-action lawsuits accusing the companies of civil wiretapping allegations connected to advertising practices.
The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals, in a joint opinion filed last week on the two lawsuits [PDF], ruled the advertising practices at issue did not involve wiretapping. The San Francisco-based appeals court, however, reinstated allegations that Facebook violated its terms of service for its users, which now number about 1.2 billion.
A US appeals court has dismissed federal wiretap claims against Facebook and Zynga in a civil lawsuit over disclosure of user information to advertisers.
In a separate ruling, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals also revived breach of contract claims under state law against Facebook over the information disclosures.