Facebook tries hard to shake its reputation as a Big Brother presence in our lives. However, the company does itself no favors when it announces things like this: it has used satellite information to map the entire human population.
An executive at Facebook told a space tech convention this week that the site knows where all 7.5 billion people on earth live to within 15 feet. Facebook says it developed the mapping technology itself, and that the tech can also find any manmade structure on earth to a resolution of five meters. Facebook wants to use the info to eventually hook the entire world up with space-based Internet service.
“Satellites are exciting for us. Our data showed the best way to connect cities is an internet in the sky,” Facebook’s head of strategic innovation partnerships and sourcing said at a space technology forum this week. “We’re trying to connect people from the stratosphere and from space.”
While Facebook may have good intentions for this kind of technology, it also feels extremely creepy and invasive. After all, who gave Facebook the right to observe all of humanity in this way? Regardless, Facebook is now unquestionably one of the most powerful institutions in the world—including governments.