Facebook Listening

Facebook Isn’t Tapping Your Microphone

There’s been a lot of information and news around Facebook lately. Most of it is about data, our personal data. However, earlier on in the year, Facebook drew criticism for allegedly listening to our conversations. Facebook listening to us sounds like a crazy idea. Facebook listening to us sounds horrifying! But is it actually true? The guys over at the Verge went ahead and done some myth busting around the whole thing!

Mark Zuckerberg even had to state during his privacy hearing in congress that the whole idea of Facebook listening to it’s users was a ‘conspiracy theory’

Facebook are said to have been listening to us, as we, as users. Have seen ads for the stuff we have been talking about with friends. Yet according to the Verge it’s not down to listening at all. It’s all down to very clever ad targeting. They know everything you do. It’s all because of you too. You’re the one giving Facebook this information, so don’t be surprised when you get super accurate ads.

  • They know your browsing history because of cookies and trackers. Facebook has their own inhouse one called Facebook Pixel.
  • The ‘Like’ button you may use on a news website. Information is fed back to facebook.
  • What you look like (uploaded photos)
  • Where you like to spend your free time (location data when you tag yourself in places)
  • The things you buy! (the Facebook ads you click on and then consequently purchase)

Facebook knows more than you think. It’s not down to eavesdropping that would violate a ton of wiretapping laws. It’s all down to you. You’re the one giving them this information. It may look creepy, but their just feeding back the information you gave to them back to you. Think of it as a gift from a loved one. You forget about it and then, as you forgot, act all surprised that they remembered what you wanted for your birthday. Think of Facebook ads like that.

The reason why it appears to appear on your screen right after you spoke about it? All psychological. Andreas Andrietta of the Electronics Frontier Foundation, stated in the Verge’s report something interesting. That ad may have been running there the whole time, but as you are more aware of it, after speaking about, your more inclined to notice the ad.

You provide Facebook with so much data, they don’t need to tap your microphone. Even if they could. They could. They have the tech to do it. Nigel Cannings of Intelligence Voice, states that the tech is super simple. But it requires a lot of differing factors to identify you. Such as geometric data and geofencing, which with Facebook, you give out that data. This would work simply on a very very very small scale. However, Facebook has huge numbers of people on their platform, there are just simply too many people to do this feasibly.

Even if they could do it anyway, there’s too many of us and B, it’s highly illegal to do so.

For a more detailed look at this head on over to the Verge and check out their video on the subject, it’s very interesting!

Listen to the guys chatting about this by clicking here! 

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