Meta patents suggest biometric data capture for personalized advertising
A new series of patents by Facebook’s parent company Meta suggest possible plans from the company to capture users’ behavioral biometrics data.
Specifically, the patents mention pupil movements, body poses, and crumpled noses, which the company would use to make digital avatars realistically animated.
The patents were reviewed by The Financial Times, according to which Meta also intends to use the biometric data to provide hyper-targeted advertising and sponsored content.
In fact, one of the patents analyzed by the publication was granted to Meta by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) earlier this month and refers to the tracking of users’ facial expressions through a virtual reality headset to “adapt media content” based on those responses.
A separate patent describes an avatar personalization engine capable of creating a 3D avatar of a user based on biometrics collected from a submitted photo.
When asked by Insider about whether these technologies will be deployed in real-life applications soon, a Meta spokesperson said the company’s patents “don’t necessarily cover the technology used in our products and services.”
However, it is worth noting that Meta has recently stepped up its efforts in the construction of metaverse infrastructure, so it is not unlikely these patents will see new developments soon.
At the same time, the metaverse is still a largely unregulated frontier for biometric data ownership and privacy, and substantial work needs to be done before it becomes a safe – and not simply profitable — environment for users and companies alike.