Six years ago Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg filed his first patent and now the US Patent Trademark Office has approved his request. Filed in July 2006 the patent regards the ability to dynamically generate a privacy summary.
It’s ironic that Facebook’s first submitted patent involves user privacy, a sore spot for the newly public company.
Here is the patent request summary known as the Dynamically generate privacy summary:
A system and method for dynamically generating a privacy summary is provided. The present invention provides a system and method for dynamically generating a privacy summary. A profile for a user is generated. One or more privacy setting selections are received from the user associated with the profile. The profile associated with the user is updated to incorporate the one or more privacy setting selections. A privacy summary is then generated for the profile based on the one or more privacy setting selections.
By inserting certain privacy features on their own users would have their information appear onscreen only as request and their privacy statement would reflect their option.
The US Patent office originally rejected the patent because it appeared to be an “obvious” option but they later revisited the request and ultimately approved it for use.
Since 2006 Facebook has had various other patents approved by the US Patent Office and while a patent from 2006 may seem out of date in an ever-growing patent war fueled tech sector Facebook needs all the protection it can get as competitors including Microsoft, Yahoo and Google heat up their patent battle machines.