Facebook Gets Patent To Track Users’ Television Viewing

Facebook (FB) has recently secured a patent for tracking users’ television (TV) viewing by using the device’s microphone, GPS, or camera to capture images, audio, video, or location that reveals what the users are watching. With this patent grant, FB now is allowed to track what the users watch on TV and streamline services and associate the obtained information with the rest of their users’ data.

The Menlo Park-based social media giant applied for the patent “Correlating media consumption data with user profiles” in 2015 but didn’t get the approval until this week. The invention mentioned in the Patent Application was invented by Ramesh Sarukkai, a former engineering director who left FB in the year 2017.

The patent application described ways in which Facebook could determine or capture media consumption data through a media device or by obtaining data from a content provider. For instance, acoustic fingerprinting. The user’s device with a Facebook app running on it could capture images, audio, video, or location data using a camera, microphone, or GPS to pick up data from a TV show the user is watching. The collected data then would be sent to the company to analyze the data, and thus, identify what the user is viewing.

The Patent Registration Application also described how FB could capture and analyze even the images from an incoming video stream. The company could also analyze audio or signals from an HDMI cable to discover which cable provider is broadcasting a given TV show or movie based on the unique time delay of the signal.

According to the patent, that information would enable Facebook to determine if a user is watching something on Comcast. The company then can associate the information with Comcast’s schedule for a specific time of the day.

In recent years, Facebook has come across many privacy advocates for its act of tracking the different types of users’ data. There are complaints that FB tracks users’ data even when they have their tracking services turned off.

In August 2019, Facebook released a tool to let users see which websites and/ or apps have traced them.

As per some reports, Mr.Sarukkai couldn’t be reached for comments in regards to the recent patent. Moreover, Facebook spokesman Anthony Harrison announced that no one at the company was available for comment over FB’s holiday closure. Hence, it is unclear whether the social media giant is currently utilizing the technology. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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