Patrick Sison, Associated Press
This Feb. 19, 2014, file photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York.

SALT LAKE CITY — Facebook has filed a new patent that could make it easier to target entire families with advertisements.

What’s going on: The new patent application, which was filed May 10 and finally published this week, identified an algorithm about how the company will study photographs and compare them with other data to build an entire database of information for a household, The Verge reports.

  • Facebook would use the data, which could include your demographic information and household information, for advertisement targeting.
  • Facebook would store your captions, hashtags and internet service providers to take and feed to advertisers, according to Popular Mechanics.
  • Facebook implemented a family targeting program last year.
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What it does: As Marketing Land reported, Facebook will use the patent to check out the relationships on your profile, whether people have the same last names and any shared life events users share with others.

Example: There’s an example described in the patent in which a user posts a photo of a girl and identifies her as “my angel.” The system would deduce that the female is likely either his wife or daughter.

  • “That may or may not be accurate, but it would let advertisers target that user using those demographic characteristics — even if he didn’t explicitly list relationships with his wife and daughter, or if the wife and daughter aren’t on Facebook at all,” according to The Verge.