Facebook has made no secret that it wants to know more about your emotions. From introducing emoticons to manipulating our News Feeds, the site is intent on gathering the most private data of all: our feelings. That’s why it was not exactly surprising (though still creepy) when the social media giant got a patent last month to scan your facial features with the camera on your smartphone.
The patent, called Techniques for emotion detection and content delivery, seeks to use the camera in your phone to read your emotions while you take in content on the site. Using this, Facebook could theoretically learn enough about your emotional state to customize ads for you based only on what it looks like you’re feeling. Another patent granted to the site would let it capture your face and instantly create an emoji based off your expression.
It’s worth noting that Facebook and other large companies often obtain hundreds of patents like this just to maintain ownership of an idea. It’s also unclear how Facebook would sell such an invasive tool to users. Still, the mere fact of the patent’s existence tells us Facebook is thinking about watching us through our phones, and that’s creepy enough.