Why has Facebook’s latest feature been described as a “massive threat” to users’ privacy?

Facebook has caused uproar after the social network has released a “creepy” new feature that can listen in to conversations and surroundings through smartphone microphones.

The opt-in technology, which Facebook says will identify songs or TV shows and show them up on the network as a status update, has been branded “downright creepy”, by campaigners who have launched a petition on sumofus.com to have the technology stopped.

The petition has gained an astonishing 559,832 signatures so far.

A statement on Sumofus.com says: “By using the phone’s microphone every time you write a status update, it has the ability to listen to everything.

“Not only is this move just downright creepy, it’s also a massive threat to our privacy. The feature is opt-in, but many won’t even read the warnings. If we act now, we can stop Facebook in its tracks before it has a chance to release the feature.”

The petition is nearing its goal of attracting 750,000 signatures, but will Facebook listen to their critics?

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