Google has filed for a patent that lets it listen to background noise on phone calls and review backgrounds of photos so it can customize more ads to consumers.
A person isn't technically listening in to the calls, but a device is. As The Next Web writes:
While Google isn’t technically “listening” to your calls, meaning there isn’t someone on the other line listening to your conversation, the fact that the company could unleash technology that monitors our calls in real-time is weird.
U.S. & World
We would go one step forward and say that it's directly violating our right to privacy. Is this or isn't this wiretapping? The patent calls the process of monitoring these calls keeping track of "environmental conditions" based on sensors that measure temperature, humidity, light, sound, air composition. So while no one hears your conversation, the device is listening in on what's happening around you.
The patent will also allow the same device to monitor real-time photos and suggest ads based on what it sees taken in the background of photos. So, if you take a photo with snow in the background, you may be given ads for snowmobiles and snow shovels.
It's becoming clearer that there's no real benefit here for Google users. It's now solely about Google's ad dollars. But will we be OK with this new policy or will we revolt against it?
Previous headline was inaccurate