Facebook wants direct access to your brain. Think twice before letting it in.


Facebook has taken up your time and all the space on your smartphone. Now it wants to rent a room in your brain.

"We have a goal of creating a system capable of typing 100 words per minute — five times faster than you can type on your smartphone — straight from your brain," Regina Dugan, who runs a team at Facebook called Building 8, said at the company's annual developers' conference. This could be accomplished using augmented reality glasses or a headband, Dugan told BuzzFeed

Sounds neat — but you might want to think twice before letting Facebook read your mind.

At this point, Facebook already knows a ridiculous amount about you. Depending on how much information you've given up over the years, Facebook likely knows your name, your age, your birthday, your hometown, your current location, your friends' names, your likes, your dislikes, what music you listen to, your political views and so much more. Thanks to its events tool, it even knows where you're going in the future. 

And what does Facebook do with the information it currently has about you? It serves you targeted ads. 

Those ads appear on Facebook and the other sites and apps the company owns, like Instagram and WhatsApp. Anything that has a connection to Facebook can probably see your personal data. 

According to Facebook, "When you play a game with your Facebook friends or use the Facebook Comment or Share button on a website, the game developer or website may get information about your activities in the game or receive a comment or link that you share from their website on Facebook."

Noah Berger/AP

Now imagine what would happen if Facebook could access your brainwaves. Dugan said Facebook does not plan to dig into your "random thoughts," but it's unclear how it would differentiate between them. Forgive us for sounding fatalistic, but it's hard to feel excited about a multibillion-dollar corporation with a knack for manipulating emotions having any sort of direct access to your brain. 

Who knows — you could someday be getting targeted Tinder ads based on your secret crush on the neighborhood barista. Imagine what could pop up in those advertising slots after you silently rage at your messy roommate. And that's just in your regular Facebook feed — we have no idea how Zuck will work with advertisers in the virtual world he wants us all to live in