Building back doors into its own encryption technology so it can spy on your private communications is bad enough. But that may turn out to be small potatoes compared with what Facebook, the world’s largest social media site, reportedly has in the works.
According to the Daily Mail, the “world’s most powerful censor” may be developing technology that will enable its staff to read your mind. Work on this technology is being carried out, moreover, at a latter-day version of Area 51:
In April, the site revealed the existence of a new division, known only as ‘Building 8’ which is dedicated to creating ground-breaking products at the intersection of hardware, software, and content.
And a new job advert posting suggests that the mysterious division could be working on mind-reading technology.
Facebook posted the adverts on its job site, which can be accessed by the public.
One advert is for a ‘brain-computer interface engineer’ to work on a ‘2-year B8 project focused on developing advanced BCI technologies.’
The second advertisement, the Daily Mail said, is for a “neural imaging engineer” who will be responsible for “a project focused on developing novel non-invasive neuroimaging technologies.”
“These limited descriptions suggest that Building 8 might be working on monitoring how brain activity changes when looking at pictures or videos,” the article added.
Here’s a screen capture of the job listings:
The Mail article goes on to note:
Mark Zuckerberg has previously made his ambitions to create a telepathy system very clear, calling it the ‘ultimate communication technology.’
He said: ‘One day, I believe we’ll be able to send full rich thoughts to each other directly using technology.
‘You’ll just be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too, if you’d like.
‘This would be the ultimate communication technology.’
Of course, this raises a lot of questions and concerns.
As we and others have documented over the years, Facebook has banned users for a number of questionable reasons. In late November, for example, yours truly was handed a 30-day ban for a picture of an eagle superimposed on a U.S. flag, which the company claimed violated its community standards. One user was handed a ban after moderators said her profile picture of a lilac tree was pornographic, while another was told that a picture of a 2012 Donald Trump campaign button violated rules on nudity.
Imagine what could happen if someone had a thought the site’s moderators didn’t like:
- Facebook: Video of white man gagged, tortured, beaten bloody doesn’t violate community standards
- Facebook page owners fight back after mass purge, call for live representative in petition
- Facebook: U.S. flag violates community standards, earns user 30-day ban