Over the recent years, more and more people are brought to attention about their privacy regarding their cellular devices. People are realizing that there could be a possibility that companies may be listening to us more than we are aware of.
Have you ever noticed while you’re having a conversation with someone, and for example, you both are discussing your interests over shoes? You mention you want a pair of white Converse, and then suddenly… 5 minutes later, those EXACT white pair of Converse you were mentioning appears on your timeline.
In an article from February last year by CBS News, Sam Nguyen claims she gets the idea her phone is listening to her, and she is certain she gets ads from Facebook and Google for things she only mentions aloud.
“I didn’t write that in my email. I didn’t check it out online yet. It’s just popping up. That’s kinda weird,” Nguyen said.(CBS News, 2018)
Well some say it might be considered a coincidence, whereas others believe it’s no coincidence at all.
It’s becoming more common for people to have ads pop up on their social media timelines such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for items they have not once searched for. Some experts agree with the possibility, but others say that companies already know too much about you… so are they really listening?
I am not sure what is creepier, the idea that someone is always listening, or the idea that that Google and Facebook probably know me better than I know myself, and I do not know which one I would prefer. Companies are able to track data relating you based off your GPS, your searches, the pictures you upload, the items you deleted, the videos you have watched, and more.
Did you know?
Google takes your information that you provide such as: your location, sex, age, interests, occupation, relationship status, if seeking weight loss, and income and they generate an advertisement profile that personalizes all the ads you see online and on social media.
Click on these links to view your data!
Google knows where you’ve been
Google knows everything you’ve ever searched – and deleted
Google has an advertisement profile of you
Google knows all the apps you use
Google has all of your YouTube history
If you’d like more information on all the information Google has on you, this article by Dylan Curran from last year is super useful:
So, are companies really listening? Or do they just know you better than yourself. The internet can be a pretty scary and crazy place and in today’s day in age it is extremely difficult to not be tracked or have any privacy anymore. That is why it is so important to maintain your privacy and be extra careful, what you click, and what you give permission to online, the items you share and the things you say.
To conclude here is a video experiment produced by one of the Buzzfeed producers, Chris:
“Ever wonder if someone is listening through the microphone in your phone? Chris conducted an experiment to see if his iPhone would listen to him, and target an advertisement at him.”
In reality, there would not be enough time or money in order to have people listen and go through every conversation being made while a phone is present.
Is Google Listening? Take a look at my blog! https://bit.ly/2YAmBqs
Is Google Listening? #google #socialmedia #phones #IsGoogleListening https://bit.ly/2TQQofV
- CBS News. (2018, February 27). Are smartphones listening and targeting us with ads? Retrieved March 28, 2019, from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/phone-listening-facebook-google-ads/
- Curran, D. (2018, March 30). Are you ready? This is all the data Facebook and Google have on you | Dylan Curran. Retrieved March 28, 2019, from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/28/all-the-data-facebook-google-has-on-you-privacy
- BuzzFeedVideo. (2018, January 31). Is My Phone Listening To Me? Retrieved March 28, 2019, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Xltl6_0hyU