Google (GOOG) has filed a patent that would allow the company to listen in on phone calls in order to target advertisements. The technology would listen to the phone call and target ads that are relevant to that conversation. Conversations would be sent to Google’s servers where it would be analysed and relevant ads will be will be targeted at you. Google, already has the technology to tweak its ads based on location, web history, email contents, smart phone usage, taste in music and film, and personal information.
The idea is not being received well by commentators, they say the move is over reaching into people’s personal lives. However, Google considers conversations on phones as public just like your home address on its StreetView on Google Maps.
The company is spending heavily in Washington to avoid the scrutiny of regulators and avoids the privacy investigation similar to the one launch by the European Union regarding the worm spying on Apple users. Privacy groups have complained to Washington, saying that the company is going too far, however Google does not see this as a problem of privacy but one of technology. Google, continues in this direction unnoticed because it knows that Washington is bought and nothing will happen to it. And they may be right, but at some point it will come to bite them.