Google Patent Would Listen To Background Noise In YOUR CALLS For Personalized Ads.

Google continues to wipe its ass with the concept of privacy, a concept that has already been discarded by most of the Facebook generation. Their latest adventure involves mining our phone calls’ background noise in order to personalize ads. The future, man.


The Orwellian  patent, which was filed for in 2008, outlines a method of listing to the background noise of your calls and translating that into information about what kind of ads you might respond to. So for example, you might get Amtrak ads if it hears trains nearby.

Here’s the language from the patent:

Information about an environmental condition of a remote device is received, the environmental condition being determined based on a signal output from a sensor of the remote device or a sensor coupled to the remote device. An advertisement is identified based on the environmental condition, and the advertisement is provided to the remote device.

The patent also goes over a similar process for analyzing the backgrounds of photos, which raises similar concerns, but it’s not quite on the level of the actual audio of your calls being monitored. All this comes with the standard patent spiel: Filing for a patent in no way means Google’s actually looking into implementing this as a feature, or even that it has the tech to do it. It’s a concept, but still kind of telling as far as the lengths it could be willing to go to deliver those ads.

The most interesting tweak is going to be in twenty years when my child doesn’t understand why I think things like this are *weird*, having lived in a world where privacy means something incredibly different right from the beginning.