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Google Patents Eavesdropping

Without having been put to use, Google reportedly patented a technology that analyzes background noise during a phone call, ands serves ads based on perceived “environmental conditions.” Yep, “that’s creepy,” TheNextWeb confirms. Filed back in 2008, the technology doesn’t technically allow Google to “listen” in on consumers’ calls, “meaning there isn’t someone on the other line listening to your conversation.” Yet, “the fact that the company could unleash technology that monitors our calls in real-time is weird,” TNW insists.

Per 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 sound of thunder and pouring rain, for example, would tell the technology to deliver an ad for raincoats. In addition, the patent addresses the backgrounds of photos and videos. “So, if you took a picture in the snow, you might be shown ads for snow shovels,” TNW writes. “That’s not as creepy sounding as the phone call portion, though.”

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