What do you think of Facebook’s new patent in terms of Section 101? The patent (No. 8,844,058) issued on September 24, 2014 covers a social-networking data privacy method that basically allows users to specify what data a third-party App can share with others and that information is conveyed to the App. Claim 1:
A method comprising:
maintaining privacy settings for a first user of a social networking system, the privacy settings comprising a setting specifying which data about the first user a third party application may share with other users in the social networking system, the third party application maintained by an entity distinct from the social networking system;
receiving from the third party application, in response to use of the third party application by a second user, a request for information about the first user;
determining by a processor whether the setting specifying which data about the first user the third party application may share with other users in the social networking system allows the second user access to the requested information; and
communicating, to the third party application, which data about the first user the third party application may share with other users in the social networking system.
The patent includes two additional independent claims that are parallel, but claim the associated computer system and software (stored on a memory). The software was claimed as a “non-transitory computer readable medium storing one or more programs” in order to avoid a prior iteration of Section 101.
It seems to me that this case will be on the 101 chopping block.