New Facebook Patent Predicts Your Location Before You Get There

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes the keynote speech at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes the keynote speech at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP File Photo

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Facebook wants to know where its users are going, and the company filed a patent application on Dec. 6 on software that can tracks users' future locations—even if they're offline.

The patent is titled "Offline Trajectories" and uses machine learning algorithms to analyze your previously logged location data as well as the location patterns of both friends and strangers, to calculate the probability of where you might be headed. The company's patented software then predicts where you'll be, something it says will benefit users by pre-loading a newsfeed for them in case the location doesn't have WiFi. 

Critics content it's another way for Facebook to strategically target users for advertising, but for now, the technology patented, and there's no guarantee the social media giant will put it into action.

“We often seek patents for technology we never implement, and patent applications — such as this one — should not be taken as an indication of future plans," Facebook spokesperson Anthony Harrison told Buzzfeed News.

Both Apple and Google's location tracking practices have come under fire recently. And of course Facebook has repeatedly drawn criticism for invading users privacy and playing fast and loose with their data.