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Microsoft patent application could match online moods with emotionally-targeted ads

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It's a match made in marketing heaven: users let their guards down within the internet's virtual walls and ads are served up to complement their fickle mental states. At least, that's one possible version of your hyper-targeted digital future, if a patent application, filed by Microsoft back in December of 2010, is any indication. The USPTO documents outline a system wherein users' online activity would be monitored and associated with a corresponding tone, their reactions recorded and an overall emotional state affixed to that behavior. This information, once properly indexed, would then be fed into a large database containing user-identifiable emotional profiles used to deliver mood-specific ads. Clearly, this proposed endeavor all but screams privacy concerns and begs the inclusion of a giant, blinking opt-out clause. Color us paranoid, but we'd rather not see the day when our PCs know we're having a particularly gloomy Sunday.

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