Facebook granted patent to analyze user profiles in search for pirated materials

Facebook has recently been granted a patent on a process where they examine their users profile information in order to better identify pirated material on their social network.  The analysis examines geographical locations, shared interests between those who send and receive files, and various other types of social relationships.  The entire point of this analysis is to “minimize legal liabilities” for Facebook.  It is not known whether Facebook has already implemented these measures in their efforts to reduce pirated materials shared within their site.


The patent is named, Using social signals to identify unauthorized content on a social networking system.

Facebook members often volunteer valuable information regarding their friends, their viewing habits, and favorite shows.  Since this information is retained, it should provide an excellent resource for predicting whether or not shared material is infringing.   And since Facebook  requires all users to abide by their privacy policy, all available user information can be utilized to protect the rights and property of Facebook and other copyright holders.

Most who use the site will be unaware of such analysis by Facebook of course.  But it does underscore a recurring theme, that information you place on such social sites isn’t really your own.  You are voluntarily offering them insight, and leverage on many of the things you do.

You can read more details at TorrentFreak.