Social media giant Facebook is the latest in the predictive location tracking arena with a patent application called “Offline Trajectories.” The technology predicts where you’re going “based at least in part on previously logged location data.”
Facebook will compare your behavioral patterns with other people, related to where you have been and what stimuli you have been exposed to- searches, conversations, videos watched etc. Based on all the data it collects, it will come up with predictive probabilities of your next location within a specific time frame, possibly better than even you.
Facebook will be able to sell the time and place of your future movements to companies that want to advertise to you, influence you, propagandize to you, or whatever reason they have to pay to be on your screen.
In the case of limited access to your real time location data, facebook is enabled to continue to know where you are heading even without tracking you personally. The technology can use other users’ data location to predict your movements, and potentially the movements of any non-users who are picked up by their networks censors. Every cellphone is a censor that creates a relational map of people and these censors. Technologies like the patent “Location Prediction Using Wireless Signals On Online Social Networks” use the strength of WiFi, Bluetooth, cellular and near-field communication (NFC) signals to pinpoint the exact location of an individual and others in relation to them.
These patents make it clear that tech giants will continue to look for new ways to gather the most information about you they possibly can and everyone you ever see. Knowing your exact location has given them great opportunities to make money. Having the power to know where you are heading even before you know will further enable them to manipulate everyone and exploit that information for money.
Image: “Facebook Tracking” by Anarchimedia is licensed under CC BY 2.0