A new patent filed by Facebook shows that the company may use phone, tablet and laptop cameras to spy on their users.

The Daily Mail reports that social media company Facebook filed a patent called “Techniques for emotion detection and content delivery” to collect “passive imaging data” via device cameras that are not turned on, an act which experts are calling an “ethical minefield.”

The patent was discovered by CB Insights, a market intelligence firm based in New York, a CB Insights spokesperson said in a post, “On the one hand, they want to identify which content is most engaging and respond to audience’s reactions, on the other emotion-detection is technically difficult, not to mention a PR and ethical minefield.”


To explain how the software may work, Facebook created a fictional user named Desmond Jones. The patent states, ‘it appears from the profile that the user, Desmond Jones, was looking away from his device during a kitten video posted by Tim Boone. Thus, a content delivery system may determine to exclude videos of that type in the future.” The patent continues to say, “In another example, it appears that the user has watched an advertisement for scotch. Thus, in the future, more advertisements for scotch may be displayed to the user.”

A diagram from the patent describing how “passive imaging” would work can be seen below,

This patent was granted to Facebook in 2015, but the company applied for similar patents just last month. One of the patents is titled “Augmenting text messages with emotion information” and aims to analyze users emotions based on their text habits. If a user appeared to be happier then more emojis would be added to text and the size of the text would increase. Another patent titled “Systems and methods for dynamically generating emojis based on image analysis of facial features” would use users facial expressions to suggest appropriate emojis for the user to type.

In recent years everyone from former FBI Director James Comey to Facebook’s own CEO Mark Zuckerberg have embraced the practice of covering up device cameras when not in use.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at

A porn website took a pic of my buddy and sent him an email with his pic and a screenshot of the porn he was viewing…lol.

Google and Facebook seem to be the worse. I don’t use either one and I don’t have any Apple products. Google tracks everyone on every web page. I use Badger to block it.

Don’t forget the microphone. And those Wi-Fi voice activated gadgets? – throw them away. They can be turned on remotely to record every sound. And that sound can be hacked. Besides the company and government access to your private information, crooks can get into that sound recording and find out things like when you will be out of the house, what your credit card number is from a voice call overheard. IoT is dangerous to your privacy and security.

Windows 7 also has a lot of telemetry that can be turned off. For Windows 10 I use O&O Shut Up 10. You can control all of the tracking that feeds back to Microsoft. For your camera and microphone, you can go into device manager and disable both of them especially if you never use them. One of my biggest fears is Google. Google tracks everything on just about every web page even this one. (I use Badger to block it.) If you use g-mail and Google search they already have a large database on you. Combine that with someone who uses an Android phone and they are better than the NSA. They could probably tell you what time you get up in the morning, when you have your coffee, and when you take care of your bodily functions. So when the Terminator comes looking for people, these Google fans will be the easiest ones to find via the GPS in their phones and even if they toss their phones, by now their faces are stored and their habits so well known that all of the surveillance cameras and facial recognition will find them.

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