Meta, Facebook's parent company, has recently filed a patent for 'User Identification with Voiceprints on Online Social Networks.' Contrary to ongoing rumors, Meta is not listening in to user conversations for ad serving, but the new patent seems to point to something similar: logging user 'voice prints' for authentication, and potentially, personalized content serving.
A social networking system may record and analyze a user's voice to determine a digital voiceprint for the user. Privacy settings would allow users to opt in or out of this process. The use of such voiceprints could facilitate voice-input purposes such as sending voice messages or improving voice recognition for voice-operated features on the social network.
While biometric ID provides a higher level of security over password-based login, Meta's potential move into voice ID could enable additional in-app functionalities.
However, the patent also states that a client system associated with the social-networking system could detect other people speaking during a Voice ID login. If identified as users based on their voices, the system could then provide customized content, including ads, based on their preferences.
This means that while not necessarily listening to conversations per se, Facebook could show ads based on who users are interacting with in real life, further stoking privacy debates.