Facebook has found itself in hot water for violating its users’ privacy again and again.
Though the social media giant has sworn to turn over a new leaf, the company filed a patent earlier this month for some tech that might make people uncomfortable.
The patent presents a way for Facebook to remotely turn on the microphone in a user’s device, and prompt it to start recording. Facebook would put a high-pitched signal, too high-pitched for human ears to hear, in broadcast content. A smartphone would be able to “hear” the signal, however.
The device begins recording, picking up all the ambient audio in the room like an air conditioner running and people chatting, and then sends data from that recording back to Facebook.
Not every patent comes to fruition, however. Many companies file them to simply stake a claim on an idea.
“It is common practice to file patents to prevent aggression from other companies,” Facebook’s Deputy General Counsel Allen Lo said in a statement to Mashable. “Because of this, patents tend to focus on future-looking technology that is often speculative in nature and could be commercialized by other companies.”