Facebook’s New App Feature Raises Privacy Concerns

Facebook recently released a new feature that has creeped out users. The new feature allows Facebook to listen in on users and post statuses as to what those users are listening to (from music to television shows). According to Forbes the new feature allows Facebook, “to take control of their smartphone’s mic and start listening in on them by default.” The social media company is hoping to make the listening process a background activity that is “a frictionless share that just happens.”

Although users must opt in to use the feature, most people are still concerned with the fact that Facebook could be “eavesdropping” on you. They don’t like the idea that Facebook could be listening to your conversations or surroundings. In fact, some are so creeped out by the new feature that a little over a half million users signed a petition on Sum of Us to ask Facebook to remove it from the app’s update.

In my opinion, I like how Facebook is trying to be innovative by introducing new tech features to their app. However, it raises a huge privacy issue. If I were to opt in to the listening feature, how do I know that Facebook is not listening to every little conversation I have? The feature also brings up the ethical question of whether companies should be able to listen to your surroundings.  Companies already listen to the content you post online; should they also have the right to listen in on your everyday life? For me, that’s an invasion of privacy.




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