Facebook's Music and TV Recognition App is Drawing Concerns From Users

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June 5 2014 4:45 PM

Facebook's New Mobile App is Drawing Ire From Users

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Does it know too much?

Photo by Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

This post first appeared in Business Insider

Facebook recently rolled out a new feature that's leaving some users speechless and others running to sign a petition to have it removed, news.com.au reports.

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The social network's new quirk allows its mobile app to turn on your smartphone's microphone, listen in on what's around you. Facebook identifies the music or TV shows it hears, and can tell the world you're currently "Listening to Iggy Azalea" if it hears you bumping "Fancy."

The opt-in feature has many users creeped out. More than half a million have flocked to sign a sumofus.com petition to have the new gimmick axed from the app.

"Tell Facebook not to release its creepy and dangerous new app feature that listens to users’ surroundings and conversations," the petition urges. "Facebook says it'll be responsible with this feature, but we know we can't trust it."

At a time when privacy concerns run rampant Facebook's new feature seems to go against the trend. In May Microsoft announced you'll be able to buy an Xbox One without the similarly creepy always-on Kinect watching and listening to your every move.

The sumofus.com petition is a little less than 200,000 signatures away from its goal: 750,000. Perhaps if it reaches that mark Facebook will actually listen to its users.

Joey Cosco is a Business Insider technology intern.

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