Facebook patents show it can predict when you’ll get married, change jobs, and die

“Facebook has been widely recognized for the extreme lengths it takes to collect data on its users,” Annie Palmer reports for The Daily Mail. “But several recently filed patents show just how widespread those efforts have become, ranging from anticipating your daily routine to predicting when you might die.”

“What’s more, many of these techniques simply rely on your smartphone’s geolocation data in order to learn more about you and your habits. In perhaps one of the most shocking filings, Facebook researchers describe the ability to ‘predict a life change event’ for users, such as marriage status, birthdays, new jobs, a birth in the family, graduation, or even death,'” Palmer reports. “Doing so would help brands serve up related advertisements to a user ‘more effectively and in a timely fashion,’ according to the patent, which was first spotted by The New York Times.”

“Facebook uses the example of displaying banner ads for wedding locations on a user’s profile if they glean that the person might be engaged. In this case, the user might not report they’re getting married until after the fact, which results in a missed opportunity for advertisers,” Palmer reports. “It’s unclear whether the ideas described in the patent, filed in 2012, ever made it onto Facebook’s platform, but it highlights the ways in which user data collection and targeted advertising go hand in hand at the firm.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: These “social networks” aren’t too intrusive, are they? This reminds us of our reaction to Google Photos.

How Google will eventually monetize their “free” image data gathering operation:

• She looked good in 2005. Height estimate: 5′ 4″. Weight estimate: 110 lbs. In 2015, she’s up to an estimated 150 lbs. Serve up those Weight Watchers ads!

• The wedding photos were nice. June 7th, 2003. But, the photos of them together ended in 2014. He’s not consistently been with anyone significant since then. Serve up the dating ads!

• The post-chemo photos started in January 2008. They ended that same year. Now, they’re back and it’s looking worse than ever. Serve up the funeral parlor ads! (And start emailing the kids about how easy it is to transfer their mom’s Google Photos library to their devices – for FREE, of course.)

Ah, the price of “free.” — MacDailyNews, May 30, 2015

Silicon Valley execs will convene in San Francisco to discuss privacy – June 25, 2018
Apple highlights user privacy as Facebook exec steps down – June 14, 2018
Apple’s App Store privacy crackdown may hurt Facebook’s Onavo app – June 13, 2018
Apple pummels privacy-trampling Facebook – June 7, 2018
Apple needs to advertise their strong commitment to privacy – June 6, 2018
Apple borks Facebook’s pervasive personal data-harvesting operation – June 5, 2018
Apple requested ‘zero’ personal data in deals with Facebook – CEO Tim Cook – June 5, 2018
Facebook CEO blasts Apple’s latest privacy protections as ‘cute virtue signaling’ – June 5, 2018

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


  1. Uh-huh. And in other news, watching paint dry is a fascinating hobby, fun for all. Facebook imagines itself to be a lot of things, none of them are accurate.

  2. Robert Heinlein wrote a short story about a scientist who invented a machine that predict when someone would die.

    It didn’t end well for him.

  3. No, they cannot predict these things. They can make guesses based on the information you give them. Do not give them accurate information, ever. All problems solved. On Facebook I’m Mary Messerschmitt, I was born in 1937, I live in Nebraska, and I’m the backup executioner in death penalty cases. We haven’t had one since 1997 so I’m on welfare. I love the Android operating system, Harley Davidson Motorcycles, and I’m a liberal who hates all conservatives and wishes they would all just die and go to hell where they belong.

    Say whatever you want. Just don’t give them the truth and they can’t tell anything about you.

    Even when I’ve told them the truth, I give the bare minimum and when I check to see what they know about me, it’s all completely wrong.

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