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Google patents imagined by the Big Brother: wants to track background sounds in private calls for ads

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Google patents imagined by the Big Brother: wants to track background sounds in private calls for ads
Google is definitely a synonym for innovation, but this here patent for picking up background noises and using them for ads is downright creepy. It also sounds like pure sci-fi but it’s not - it’s real. The patent itself is called “Advertizing based on environmental conditions.”

It all rounds up to analyzing background noises during your voice call to pick up your environment and use it to serve the perfect ads.

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.

So while this all is automated and there's no real person actually listening to your private conversations, the very thought of having your background noises tracked sounds scary.

What's more – it's not just about calls. Background environment in pictures that you've shot and videos you've taken could be used as well. We try to brush aside our Big Brother associations and concentrate on the actual patents, but it's hard. Give it a try, here's what the patent reads:

A computer-implemented method comprising: receiving, from a computing device, a search request comprising (i) information about a first environmental condition of the computing device, and (ii) one or more search terms; parsing the search request; selecting, from the search request based on parsing, the information about the first environmental condition; identifying an advertisement based on the first environmental condition and at least one of the one or more search terms; providing the advertisement to the computing device; receiving one or more of an audio signal, an image signal, or a video signal from a sensor of the computing device; and determining a second environmental condition based on the one or more of the audio signal, the image signal, or the video signal.

Hilariously, turns out The Onion “covered” a similar yet imaginary story in the past. Check out the video below and let us know your thoughts about these Google patents. Is Google being evil?


source: TheNextWeb



37 Comments
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posted on 22 Mar 2012, 11:04 1

1. itiswhatitis (Posts: 419; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


What a new way of marketing!

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 11:16 2

3. itiswhatitis (Posts: 419; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


or shoud i say what an innovative way of marketing??

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 11:08 6

2. bigboy029 (Posts: 74; Member since: 03 Jan 2011)


Most of Google's ideas have been ok... but effffff this.

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 11:34 7

4. windowsRocks (Posts: 147; Member since: 28 Oct 2011)


After few days Apple will sue Google saying they already own this patent.

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 11:51 10

6. McLTE (Posts: 620; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


sorry.. but this Joke is pretty used up.

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 13:36 2

10. windowsRocks (Posts: 147; Member since: 28 Oct 2011)


thats a joke

posted on 23 Mar 2012, 18:09

37. thephoneguy92 (Posts: 191; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


.....

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 11:38 12

5. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)


Privacy?? What privacy??? Someone explain to me how it's possible to listen in on background noise without hearing your conversation? What's next? Tracking and recording the street and freeway signs you drive by,but don't worry,we are not tracking you? Is this nuts or what?

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 13:58

13. beatsandmelody (Posts: 109; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)


I think it could done on phones with secondary mics for noise cancellation. In fact, the system would probably more easily identify the location by accessing just the secondary noise cancelling mic and ignoring the main mic.

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 12:32 4

7. Whateverman (Posts: 3158; Member since: 17 May 2009)


This better not happen, or it better be something that can be disabled or I will be changing my avatar on my next upgrade.

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 12:46 7

8. medicci37 (Posts: 552; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


Im starting to get tired of Google's lack of respect for peoples privacy. It is ridiculous what these tech companies get away with when it comes to privacy.

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 12:49 5

9. medicci37 (Posts: 552; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


We wouldn't need so much government regulation if these companies were more responsible.

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 13:38 6

11. GALAXY-S (Posts: 701; Member since: 07 Jun 2011)


Im usually down for googles ideas but this idea is over doing it bad.... sorry but if this will be the case bye bye android....
Whats next! google toilets!!! view adds of your favorite restaurants based on the food you eat... eewwww lol

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 13:45 4

12. Sniggly (Posts: 6490; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Okay, so here's my thoughts: first, the idea is redundant. Google can already tell where you are and what's around you much easier with the GPS function. Furthermore:

Why does everyone freak out when a private company that doesn't have a military, police, guns, jails, any other means of coercion, etc., and whose only motivation is to make money by offering you ads, wants to know more about you?

I mean, Im personally far more concerned about the government, which does have guns and jails, and which does have a clear track record of ruining lives and spreading misery, doing these kinds of tracking and paying attention to us.

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 14:23 4

15. digicon (Posts: 109; Member since: 11 Aug 2011)


Dude . Why do you even have a phone ? . . or the internet ? I don't care who it is , whether they have guns or not . I don't need anyone or anything listening to me or my surroundings . This is why I will never have a Google product or service ! . .

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 14:28 3

16. Sniggly (Posts: 6490; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Fyi, Google doesn't do this, you paranoid freak. They just have the patent, like Apple's patent to take pictures of jailbreaking iPhone users and such.

Furthermore, let's say they do end up doing this. I want you to tell me exactly what harm could ever befall you if they did. Come on, if you're so afraid then you must have a reason for your fear.

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 14:40 1

19. drtech (banned) (Posts: 135; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)


You wouldn't mind having all your calls listened in on by Google?

Who's the real sheep here?

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 15:12 2

23. Sniggly (Posts: 6490; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


I do mind, just not enough to immediately vilify Google. I mind much more that we have a government which can and has repeatedly violated citizens' privacy and murdered millions of people.

I mean, which is the bigger issue?

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 15:26 2

26. drtech (banned) (Posts: 135; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)


This is a tech blog so government abuses are really not relevant. Staying on topic what google is planning on doing is very alarming.

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 18:45

32. GeckoHA559 (Posts: 47; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Its easier to listen what your saying on the phone than it is to track whats going on in the background.

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 14:33

17. maxican16 (Posts: 361; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


I disagree. this is Google taking it too far.

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 14:39 2

18. Sniggly (Posts: 6490; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


It's a stupid idea, and i would rather they not implement it (and they won't) but what about this is actually dangerous? I mean really, THINK for a second.

The government's invasion of our privacy in the name of justice and security has us so scared that we view any other entity committing a similar violation of our privacy as inherently evil or dangerous.

But private companies don't have the capacity to harm us that the government does, so they're automatically dissimilar issues.

Am i the only one here thinking with a clear head about this matter?

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 15:03

21. maxican16 (Posts: 361; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


...you realize our government wouldn't think twice to demand this information from Google, should they think it necessary. granted, they would need some kind of reason to do so, but who's to say you would agree with it?

in other words, this information still has the capacity to harm you.

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 15:10

22. Sniggly (Posts: 6490; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Yeah, but not directly because of Google. You're still looking at the wrong problem. Is the problem one of a private company wanting to sell us ads, or that we have a government that's willing to be that intrusive?

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 15:12

24. maxican16 (Posts: 361; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


my point is Google is having the possibility of facilitating this. I'd much rather they didn't, that the information not be tracked to begin with. of course our government has issues!! =]

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 15:31 2

28. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)


Because in a heartbeat Einstein,the "Government" as you like to call them can subpoena all this data,or even worse,under our never ending "war on terror" can just swoop in without any oversight and own it all,along with your behind.
And if you haven't noticed,big business and Government are attached at the hip.

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 15:47 1

30. drtech (banned) (Posts: 135; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)


We're on the same page having access to that kind of information can be easily abused even if that was not the original intent.

Technology is a trade off, but in exchange we have to whore off more and more of our info. Having my calls listened to is a little too much for me though.

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 15:34

29. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)


i can already hear it... "Oh,well,I got nothing to hide"

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 14:19

14. drtech (banned) (Posts: 135; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)


This is creepy. I use some google products like gmail and google voice, but they're crossing the line here. I would have already switched from gmail if it wasn't such a pain.

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 14:56 1

20. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


Invasion of privacy, thanks Google. And Android fan would still defend Google with love.
Think if this technology got in the hands of the wrong person? What could that mean?
Track where you are, your pictures, videos, background sound would help to identify your location together with GPS.
Keep it up!

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 15:17 1

25. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1471; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


and you have never shared where you are on Facebook or anything like that huh, come on dude. You all are paranoid. You're only one person out of billions, like they are going to single you out and track you down. Seriously go live under a rock if you are that concerned with privacy

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 15:29 1

27. drtech (banned) (Posts: 135; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)


Thanks fandroid

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 15:48 1

31. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1471; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


anytime sheepy

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 18:58

33. GeckoHA559 (Posts: 47; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


My next phone might be one which operates on Windows. Why do Google need to make more money? Just to get richer and richer. Not even 2 months after the changing of the privacy policy of googles searches they come up with another thing just for advertising.

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 22:03

34. smartphone (Posts: 160; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)


google should focus on cancelation of unwanted background noise not recording it.

Why do you req. to record every users sound for a 50 sec commercial record of your employees.

posted on 22 Mar 2012, 23:46

35. Phonatic (Posts: 27; Member since: 16 Jul 2010)


Love Google, love Android, but if this were ever to go into practice I'm jumping ship.

posted on 23 Mar 2012, 00:39

36. PackMan (Posts: 277; Member since: 09 Mar 2012)


I use many google products and love them but this is not cool at all...

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