Facebook is patenting technology that will be able to
predict users' future movements.
By Natasha Bernal
11 DECEMBER 2018 • 6:23PM
Facebook is set to know where you are going before you
do and send you targeted adverts for your destination, after filing a new
technology patent in the US.
patent, filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, relies on users'
previously logged location data from their phones as well as similar data
on other people to forecast where and when they are likely to go
can blend behavioural patterns with those of friends and
others to help it build up a picture of habits and guess your future movements,
according to one of the patents which was made public last week.
media giant sought to play down the significance of the patent
application."We often seek patents for technology we never implement,
and patent applications - such as this one - should not be taken as an
indication of future plans."
experts say the technology is aimed at providing advertisers with valuable new
instance, for a person who always heads for a certain train station
after leaving work, Facebook's algorithm will be able to predict exactly
when they will lose internet connectivity. It could then
automatically pre-load content on their smartphone and allow them to
use its services without interruption. This would permit access to
far more features from Facebook when on the underground or on an
airplane, for example.
or at a new location, the technology will also be able to predict a
person's movements and determine when they could be offline by
analysing the behaviour of people of the same age, gender, or local
technology could gather data about the behaviour of people with
similar profile information to and provide insights to advertisers,
allowing them to target you with new products offline.
not the first time that Facebook has sought to bolster its expertise in this
Facebook filed another patent to use in-built
smartphone technology, such as a GPS or a barometer, to predict
people's future destination and provide them with information about where
they were going before they arrived.
A third patent filed three years ago hinted at the
company's likely objective for this technology - targeting people
with advertising even when they are offline.
data privacy policies are under increased scrutiny, following the
Cambridge Analytica scandal last year and a large data breach involving 50 million users in September.
A Facebook executive was questioned by British MPs over
the company's use of personal data last month as part of an international grand
committee on fake news.
are currently no rules aimed specifically at social media companies
in the UK, although MPs have drawn up plans to create a new regulator for social media and
the internet following widespread concern from consumers over addiction and
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