The social networking giant Facebook has filed a patent application for a new technology. It is touted that this technology will automatically find out your socio-economic status and segregate you in any of the three classes such as working class, middle class or upper class. It has been stated that the social networking firm wants to create a system that will collect the personal information of its user base such as education, internet usage, home ownership, and so on in order to know the socio-economic status of its users.
As per an IANS report, the patent was made public late last week. It suggested an algorithm that is aimed to improve Facebook's targeting capabilities in order to help it serve more relevant advertisements to the users. The patent states that by predicting the socio-economic status of users and grouping them together, the company will be able to help the third-party present sponsored content to their target users instead of presenting them to all the users.
More engaging user experience
The patent claims that the third parties are capable effectively promoting their products and services and that Facebook can make it ore engaging to the its users on sorting them out based on their socio-economic status. Facebook is said to start asking users what their age is and then throw questions related to the age group they belong to.
Users might be questioned
The patent filing showed users between of 20 to 30 years being questioned on how many internet devices they own. Also, users of 30 to 40 years of age are asked if they own a house or not. But it is unclear if the patent will actually be used for targeting the users or some other purpose.
There are claims that Facebook might also consider asking other details such as the users' travel history, the kinds of devices that the users own, their highest level of education and so on to know their socio-economic status.
Income related information is sensitive
Notably, there is no information on the most important question that is related to their income in the patent as many users might not be comfortable in answering this question. The online systems usually do not have the details related to the users' income as the users are not inclined to reveal such information as it is very sensitive when revealed online.