No, Facebook did not patent secretly turning your phone mics on when it hears your TV

Hi, everyone. Let’s talk about how to read patents again.

There’s a raft of headlines today claiming that Facebook has a patent on secretly turning your phone mic on when it hears a signal from a TV. The story appears to have picked up in Metro UK, which ran the headline “Facebook wants to hide secret inaudible messages in TV ads that can force your phone to record audio.”

Here’s Gizmodo, in classic Giz style: “Facebook patent imagines triggering your phone’s mic when a hidden signal plays on TV.”

Here’s Engadget, which personally breaks my heart since I used to do all the patent stories there: “Facebook patent turns phone mics on to record reactions to ads.”

Here’s Esquire, for some reason: “Facebook’s new patent can turn on your…

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