I never believed that phones are "listening to us" but now I do....

JeTmAn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,556
It’s a non-trivial amount of bandwidth that would’ve been instantly detected by white hats and sent to every tech journalist in the planet if they were actually doing this
Not if the speech processing algorithms are already present in the OS. It would be possible to run regression analysis locally and produce results which measure in the single digit KB amounts or smaller. Even the models themselves are rather tiny after they've been trained. For neural networks its just bunch of floating point values.
 

TheJackdog

Member
Oct 27, 2017
549
wanna really freak out?

find a spanish radio station. leave your phone next to it for a night.

enjoy ads in spanish the next day.
 

bill crystals

Member
Oct 25, 2017
347
I thought it was already exposed that they have to the ability to listen if they chose too.
Source? That's another big problem with these threads, it's all just "I thought...", "I heard....", "My cousin said...".

The conspiracy you are suggesting would be insanely easy to prove quantitatively. It'd be front page news and would probably prompt huge legislative changes in our government. Every outlet in the world would be able to run their own studies, come up with their own hard data to show you that yes this is indeed happening.
 
Jan 10, 2018
3,591
La Liga fined €250,000 for using its mobile app to eavesdrop on fans


Hundreds of Apps Can Eavesdrop Through Phone Microphones to Target Ads


I mean we KNOW its happening
 

bill crystals

Member
Oct 25, 2017
347
La Liga fined €250,000 for using its mobile app to eavesdrop on fans


Hundreds of Apps Can Eavesdrop Through Phone Microphones to Target Ads


I mean we KNOW its happening
From your second article:

"The apps would not listen for human speech, and require explicit, affirmative approval from the user before listening in. But after being cleared, they could still listen even if they were running in the background. As The Times explains:"

You have to give it explicit permission lol. Nobody actually follows up with this bullshit, if you just read the articles beyond the headline you realize this isn't the conspiracy you think it is.
 
Jan 10, 2018
3,591
From your second article:

"The apps would not listen for human speech, and require explicit, affirmative approval from the user before listening in. But after being cleared, they could still listen even if they were running in the background. As The Times explains:"

You have to give it explicit permission lol. Nobody actually follows up with this bullshit, if you just read the articles beyond the headline you realize this isn't the conspiracy you think it is.
Thank you, appreciate your anger
I just assume most electronics nowadays listen in some shape or form. I personally am not doing anything shady to really worry about it.
It will never be your decision if you do something shady or what consequences you might face
 

real2

Member
Jan 31, 2019
50
This shouldn't be surprising to anyone. Any social media, email accounts etc where the service is "free" is because YOU are the product. I've opted out of most things in terms of my gmail account, but i'm sure in many other ways Google is collecting data on me.
 

Nerfgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,536
Nova Scotia
I feel like all the 'smart' people in this thread that would normally invoke Occam's Razor in other instances have come up with all these explanations (theories) as to why the phone is NOT listening instead of just accepting the most simple answer
You’re right. It’s all just theories, there’s no way to put a smartphone on a static IP inside a VLAN on your network, open up your router page and literally watch all of the traffic that is going in and out anytime we like. If only there was a way
 

ckareset

Member
Feb 2, 2018
3,088
From your second article:

"The apps would not listen for human speech, and require explicit, affirmative approval from the user before listening in. But after being cleared, they could still listen even if they were running in the background. As The Times explains:"

You have to give it explicit permission lol. Nobody actually follows up with this bullshit, if you just read the articles beyond the headline you realize this isn't the conspiracy you think it is.
lol, didnt you just say it wasnt happening

You do realize that the "permission" is simply the message a bunch of apps display like this one correct? And most apps dont let you use them if you do not accept.
 

Orb

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,473
USA
The short version is it is not a coincidence, but it wasn’t listening to your speech because that is too high bandwith an easy to detect. They know your cookies and they associate you with a huge data mining profile and then tie that in with other profiles and then actually get something that’s way way worse than a minor eavesdropping recording.

And then your brain pattern recognition kicks in and you decide it’s not just a coincidence. Which it isn’t, but it’s not actually listening to audio.
First post wins. Your phone is not listening to you. This has been disproved over and over again. Confirmation bias is a powerful thing.
 

RadzPrower

Member
Jan 19, 2018
645
wanna really freak out?

find a spanish radio station. leave your phone next to it for a night.

enjoy ads in spanish the next day.
I get ads in Spanish all the time. Not because I speak it or because my phone hears it, but based on location. Our office routes all network traffic to a single location, so I get ads indicative of the area...an area with a larger ad targetted Spanish speaking population than where I live.
 

Kalem

Member
May 23, 2019
13
Google is listening. When I first started my new IT job, I had never heard of or looked up Fortinet routers before but after having a conversation about them with my phone nearby every fucking site had Fortinet ads.
Or it detected your phone was connected through a network going through Fortinet routers and decided to show you ads for that.
 

bill crystals

Member
Oct 25, 2017
347
lol, didnt you just say it wasnt happening

You do realize that the "permission" is simply the message a bunch of apps display like this one correct? And most apps dont let you use them if you do not accept.
Obviously phones have a microphone, they can record what you say. That simple fact is pretty absurdly different from suggesting that all phones are recording you without your permission at all times. That's simply an ignorant/lazy thing to suggest - I don't think you actually realize the technical feat you're suggesting.
 

GC-

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,467
I’m just surprised at how good targeted ads are now. It’s really creepy.

Never saying it out loud nor even searching for it I start to think about looking at something but not had time to, a mental bookmark for later. Later in the day I go on YouTube and there you go the first advert is exactly what I was thinking about. First time seeing that advert and content not related to it at all.

Then I start thinking. What gave me the reason to start thinking about that in the first place. Did something plant a seed I didn’t really pay attention to but sub-conscious absorbed it or is it just a logical progression based on other things I have been looking up and therefore it’s just a targeted ad from what similar users then went onto search.
 

ckareset

Member
Feb 2, 2018
3,088
Obviously phones have a microphone, they can record what you say. That simple fact is pretty absurdly different from suggesting that all phones are recording you without your permission at all times. That's simply an ignorant/lazy thing to suggest - I don't think you actually realize the technical feat you're suggesting.
Nice job moving the goalpost and playing into absurdity lol
 

LL_Decitrig

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,835
Sunderland
Not on the same level but I saw someone post an Oculus Rift S sale post in the buy/sell thread here yesterday. I copy pasted the text of it to my friend on Google Hangouts. Today I see Oculus ads on Instagram. It's ridiculous lol
Oh my sweet summer child.

Some apps let you opt out of personalised ads. If you opt out you'll still get ads but they won't be based on tracking cookies (which will, however, continue to be collected and updated.)
 

JeTmAn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,556
Obviously phones have a microphone, they can record what you say. That simple fact is pretty absurdly different from suggesting that all phones are recording you without your permission at all times. That's simply an ignorant/lazy thing to suggest - I don't think you actually realize the technical feat you're suggesting.
As a software engineer, it does not strike me as a particularly difficult technical feat to record at all times. Just because you're recording all of that data doesn't mean it all has to be saved forever. You could easily be doing some background processing that analyzes the last ten seconds, saves only detected keywords, deletes it, then does the next ten seconds that are held in a buffer. Send that back to a central server anytime you want. That doesn't mean it's being done, but it sure doesn't seem hard to do.
 

Ashhong

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,803
Oh my sweet summer child.

Some apps let you opt out of personalised ads. If you opt out you'll still get ads but they won't be based on tracking cookies (which will, however, continue to be collected and updated.)
I'm just noting that the Instagram ad wasn't off of any cookie, but rather some text that I copy pasted into Google Hangouts
 

bill crystals

Member
Oct 25, 2017
347
As a software engineer, it does not strike me as a particularly difficult technical feat to record at all times. Just because you're recording all of that data doesn't mean it all has to be saved forever. You could easily be doing some background processing that analyzes the last ten seconds, saves only detected keywords, deletes it, then does the next ten seconds that are held in a buffer. Send that back to a central server anytime you want. That doesn't mean it's being done, but it sure doesn't seem hard to do.
As a software engineer - you think this wouldn't be found out IMMEDIATELY that they were doing it? Of course you can "in a vacuum" come up with all kinds of disparate pieces that "should" work to form a stack to perform the task of recording 24/7 and funneling it back to a server somewhere...but keeping such an insane violation of privacy secret from the world...forever?

In theory the tech is absolutely possible, like a lot of things (like someone recording you via your webcam). But I think if you step off the "theoretical" platform and start thinking about how they would actually implement this in real life, thinking about the problems they would run up against, and then the impossible task of keeping it secret from literally everyone on earth (including whistleblowers in their own company) I think it's pretty easy to call it practically impossible.
 

supernormal

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
696
I’m just surprised at how good targeted ads are now. It’s really creepy.

Never saying it out loud nor even searching for it I start to think about looking at something but not had time to, a mental bookmark for later. Later in the day I go on YouTube and there you go the first advert is exactly what I was thinking about. First time seeing that advert and content not related to it at all.

Then I start thinking. What gave me the reason to start thinking about that in the first place. Did something plant a seed I didn’t really pay attention to but sub-conscious absorbed it or is it just a logical progression based on other things I have been looking up and therefore it’s just a targeted ad from what similar users then went onto search.
Also this, which happens way more often than seeing something I said pop up. It tracks other things that you mostly don't notice in your online behavior that are way more telling to it's algorithms than you speaking up about it. That's the scary thing. That you don't even know what it is you're revealing while thinking that you're not revealing anything at all.
 

RadzPrower

Member
Jan 19, 2018
645
As a software engineer - you think this wouldn't be found out IMMEDIATELY that they were doing it? Of course you can "in a vacuum" come up with all kinds of disparate pieces that "should" work to form a stack to perform the task of recording 24/7 and funneling it back to a server somewhere...but keeping such an insane violation of privacy secret from the world...forever?

In theory the tech is absolutely possible, like a lot of things (like someone recording you via your webcam). But I think if you step off the "theoretical" platform and start thinking about how they would actually implement this in real life, thinking about the problems they would run up against, and then the impossible task of keeping it secret from literally everyone on earth (including whistleblowers in their own company) I think it's pretty easy to call it practically impossible.
^THIS

I don't think most people are saying it's impossible for this to happen. Most of us would probably readily admit that it's technically possible. However, it is not possible that they're doing it CURRENTLY because it would be found. People are in the code of Android and other software like that all the time and it would most certainly be found very quickly if it were truly implemented and, important caveat, NOT opt-in. We forget how much of our day-to-day data we voluntarily give away by just clicking through Terms of Service prompts without a second glance.
 

Canucked

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,006
If our phones were listening to us, wouldn't they be pushing everything we randomly say around them. Like if you talked about KFC once and then you and your wife had that same convo about CBD oil, wouldn't you have ads for KFC and CBD oil? How on earth would your phone know what is casual conversation and what you're interested in. There had to be some other connector to CBD oil that picked up for you.
 

Vilix

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,466
Texas
I thought I once read that FBs new phone app would start to listen in on conversations. But I tried finding it and I couldn’t.
 

Rellodex

Member
Oct 29, 2017
484
Well joke's on them then because the solicitation and advertisements I receive are always a total mess.

Either that or these ads are a subversive commentary on my life.
 

TwntyOneTwlv

Member
Oct 25, 2017
698
Akron, OH
So I was talking with my wife about having hard time falling asleep. She mentioned trying Organic CBD oil. I had my phone near me during the conversation but not once did I search what CBD oil was about on my phone or computer after that talk. Well I shit you not, the very next day I get an email about CBD oils. I did a GMAIL search and I NEVER received any emails ever about CBD oils...

How much of a coincidence is this?
People will tell you that phones aren’t listening. Don’t believe them.

I’ve had almost the exact same experience as you, down to CBD oil being mentioned in conversation, and then receiving an email about CBD the next day. My father, who was in the same room when the CBD comment was made, also received a CBD email.

This is absolutely real.
 

Aureon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
928
This seems pretty easy to test honestly.


Pick up a dozen phones, talk about a subject for a while, after purposefully picking a topic that isn't in anybody's history, see if everyone gets relevant ads.
 
OP
OP
LordDraven

LordDraven

Member
Jan 23, 2019
641
People will tell you that phones aren’t listening. Don’t believe them.

I’ve had almost the exact same experience as you, down to CBD oil being mentioned in conversation, and then receiving an email about CBD the next day. My father, who was in the same room when the CBD comment was made, also received a CBD email.

This is absolutely real.
Damn!
 

Dingens

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,979
[....]
ERA: why do all these stupid conservatives believe in these crazy deep state conspiracy theories??
Also ERA: they machines are listening, mannn
also ERA: there is no way advertising companies who are sucking private data out of every pore of your existence would ever do something like this because why would they?


But this means ignoring the people who do actual work in these fields who say "Nope, doesn't work that way", and ignores the countless people who would jump on this information in a heartbeat if it were happening.

You obviously don't have much grasp of the level of computational power needed to be listening at all times and accurately transcribing voice for sending via text later. Your phones would lose power at an absurd rate if they were doing this.
First of all, they would not need to listen all the time. It also does not even need to be 100% accurate. It's just extra information. Thus it would be more than enough if the system recognizes a few key words relevant for the ads they sell, possible related to their clients maybe. It's a "problem" with almost infinite technical solutions. And I'm pretty sure that, if they find a way to get away with it undetected, they will use it. If this industry has proven one thing over the last years, than it's that they have no shame and no morals.
 

Nerfgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,536
Nova Scotia
People will tell you that phones aren’t listening. Don’t believe them.

I’ve had almost the exact same experience as you, down to CBD oil being mentioned in conversation, and then receiving an email about CBD the next day. My father, who was in the same room when the CBD comment was made, also received a CBD email.

This is absolutely real.
Behold – how anti vaxx, fake moon landing, flat earth happens
 

bill crystals

Member
Oct 25, 2017
347
also ERA: there is no way advertising companies who are sucking private data out of every pore of your existence would ever do something like this because why would they?




First of all, they would not need to listen all the time. It also does not even need to be 100% accurate. It's just extra information. Thus it would be more than enough if the system recognizes a few key words relevant for the ads they sell, possible related to their clients maybe. It's a "problem" with almost infinite technical solutions. And I'm pretty sure that, if they find a way to get away with it undetected, they will. If this industry has proven one thing over the last years, than it's that they have no shame and no morals.
You answered your own question with your first sentence. They don't listen to you 24/7 because they don't need to. You (and your friends/family/connections etc) give these companies every bit of data they could possibly need to send you targeted advertising, and you don't even realize it. Even right now, as you're posting and reading this dumb thread on ResetERA, your data and activity is almost assuredly being mined by some entity or another and passed/sold to countless others.

Using an active listening device to record shit 24/7 is the most primitive and brute-force way they could possibly achieve this, it's why no software dev in a remotely related field to advertising/analytics takes this conspiracy theory seriously.

If you're freaked out by the fantasy notion of your phone recording you 24/7, you seriously don't want to know about the ACTUAL ways companies track and target you right now, today (ranging from the absurdly simple to terrifyingly complex).
 

Cat Party

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,597
If you're freaked out by the fantasy notion of your phone recording you 24/7, you seriously don't want to know about the ACTUAL ways companies track and target you right now, today (ranging from the absurdly simple to terrifyingly complex).
This is so true. But for a lot of people, the fantasy is much easier to accept and (in their mind) deal with.
 

Roy

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
2,434
also ERA: there is no way advertising companies who are sucking private data out of every pore of your existence would ever do something like this because why would they?




First of all, they would not need to listen all the time. It also does not even need to be 100% accurate. It's just extra information. Thus it would be more than enough if the system recognizes a few key words relevant for the ads they sell, possible related to their clients maybe. It's a "problem" with almost infinite technical solutions. And I'm pretty sure that, if they find a way to get away with it undetected, they will use it. If this industry has proven one thing over the last years, than it's that they have no shame and no morals.
Facebook has already admitted to using your mic to listen and it doesn’t need to hide it since it’s in the TOS.
 

Dingens

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,979
You answered your own question with your first sentence. They don't listen to you 24/7 because they don't need to. You (and your friends/family/connections etc) give these companies every bit of data they could possibly need to send you targeted advertising, and you don't even realize it. Even right now, as you're posting and reading this dumb thread on ResetERA, your data and activity is almost assuredly being mined by some entity or another and passed/sold to countless others.

Using an active listening device to record shit 24/7 is the most primitive and brute-force way they could possibly achieve this, it's why no software dev in a remotely related field to advertising/analytics takes this conspiracy theory seriously.

If you're freaked out by the fantasy notion of your phone recording you 24/7, you seriously don't want to know about the ACTUAL ways companies track and target you right now, today (ranging from the absurdly simple to terrifyingly complex).
I'm not sure who you're trying to lecture here... Because if you had seen my posting history, you, like our corporate overlords, would know that I'm already doing everything I can to give them as little information as possible, because I'm very much aware of what they are doing, and how they are doing it. That's were the rest of what I wrote comes in. There simply is no "enough".
 
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panecasio

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,699
Toronto, ON
Google is listening. When I first started my new IT job, I had never heard of or looked up Fortinet routers before but after having a conversation about them with my phone nearby every fucking site had Fortinet ads.
Does anything about your web presence (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) detail that you're an IT professional? Your job is a great piece of demographic info and a predictor for serving you relevant ads.