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

404Ender

Member
Oct 25, 2017
199
If it was so fucking easy to discover shit why did it take Snowden to tell us all the shady shit the government is doing and all the companies they're in bed with that allowed them to do it?
This is a "why we still got monkeys?"-level line of reasoning.

One of those involves companies directly handing user data over to the government, under court order. In order to find out the truth, you'd need to be one of the few insiders involved in the agreements, and then break the law by leaking information about it. There's no way to detect that as an end-user.

The other is detecting network activity on a personal device which can be fully isolated and analyzed without interference.
 

RedMercury

Member
Dec 24, 2017
7,462
They know when you are sleeping, they know when you're awake, they know when you have irregular sleep patterns so go to sleep for goodness sake
 

Roy

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
2,434
Again, it's really difficult to tell whether the "phone as mic" proponents are being serious or have simply gone full tinfoil hat. Yes, it's easy to monitor network communications.
Let’s see a demonstration of Google Assistant being monitored and the data analyzed and broken down to the voice recordings and associated commands and queries.
 

LL_Decitrig

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,832
Sunderland
Let’s see a demonstration of Google Assistant being monitored and the data analyzed and broken down to the voice recordings and associated commands and queries.
What would that tell you? We both already agree that Google Assistant communicates with Google's external services. If somebody showed you a wireshark session in which this happened, you'd simply be nodding your head because that's what we both already know happens. Computers communicate over the internet and this activity is easily monitored.
 

Roy

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
2,434
What would that tell you? We both already agree that Google Assistant communicates with Google's external services. If somebody showed you a wireshark session in which this happened, you'd simply be nodding your head because that's what we both already know happens. Computers communicate over the internet and this activity is easily monitored.
It’s the control part of the experiment.
 
Oct 27, 2017
801
They are definitely listening. I had a consultation with a gastroenterologist the other day, and now I’m getting ads for gastric specialists. Either google is listening, or google has access to my medical records.
 

finalflame

Product Management
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
2,344
They are definitely listening. I had a consultation with a gastroenterologist the other day, and now I’m getting ads for gastric specialists. Either google is listening, or google has access to my medical records.
The latter is orders of magnitude more likely than the former, although the most probable explanation is neither. There are a ton of possibilities along the way related to how you might have booked your appointment or searches/internet history/location data leading up to your visit that might have influenced it.

I don't think I'll argue further but seeing this thread go in the same ignorant direction as this discussion always goes in so goddamn disheartening.
 
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404Ender

Member
Oct 25, 2017
199
They are definitely listening. I had a consultation with a gastroenterologist the other day, and now I’m getting ads for gastric specialists. Either google is listening, or google has access to my medical records.
Did you look up any of your symptoms online?
Did you receive a phone call on your phone from the doctor's office?
Did you put the appointment in your calendar?
Did you use mapping software to get directions to the office?
Did you visit the office's website?
Did you use the wifi at the office, or really use your phone at all while there?
 

finalflame

Product Management
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
2,344
Did you look up any of your symptoms online?
Did you receive a phone call on your phone from the doctor's office?
Did you put the appointment in your calendar?
Did you use mapping software to get directions to the office?
Did you visit the office's website?
Did you use the wifi at the office, or really use your phone at all while there?
NO, THEY ARE DEFINITELY LISTENING !!!
 
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nel e nel

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,437
The latter is orders of magnitude more likely than the former, although the most probable explanation is neither. There are a ton of possibilities along the way related to how you might have booked your appointment or searches/internet history/location data leading up to your visit that might have influenced it.

I don't think I'll argue further but seeing this thread go in the same ignorant direction as this discussion always goes is so goddamn disheartening.
Makes one wonder how informed any thread is in Era.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,057
The latter is orders of magnitude more likely than the former, although the most probable explanation is neither. There are a ton of possibilities along the way related to how you might have booked your appointment or searches/internet history/location data leading up to your visit that might have influenced it.

I don't think I'll argue further but seeing this thread go in the same ignorant direction as this discussion always goes is so goddamn disheartening.
it's much more likely that Google read his location.

Google asked me the other day to rate my visit to freaking Subway. The phones are tracking us. it is known.
 
Oct 27, 2017
801
Did you look up any of your symptoms online?
Did you receive a phone call on your phone from the doctor's office?
Did you put the appointment in your calendar?
Did you use mapping software to get directions to the office?
Did you visit the office's website?
Did you use the wifi at the office, or really use your phone at all while there?
My primary care called them and made an appointment. I never called, not googled the directions because I know where they are located. I did use the WiFi tho. That must be it goddammit.
 

Akira86

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,567
My primary care called them and made an appointment. I never called, not googled the directions because I know where they are located. I did use the WiFi tho. That must be it goddammit.
so they are listening, but not with their ears, and to literally everything but your voices

see? you guys are worried for no reason
 

caliph95

Member
Oct 25, 2017
20,632
So basically they're not listening to you but the actual answer that they able to gather enough information about you and have good enough algorithms they might as well be listening to you

So the actual answer is a lot scarier that tinfoil answer
 

Devilgunman

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,498
I believe they are listening as well. I just went to see End Game last week. For almost 2 months, I'd been successfully avoiding spoilers from social media. The day after I watched it, Facebook recommended a funny video that straight up spoils the ending. I didn't tell anyone or post anything saying I went to watch the movie.
 

orlock

Member
Oct 28, 2017
399
So basically they're not listening to you but the actual answer that they able to gather enough information about you and have good enough algorithms they might as well be listening to you

So the actual answer is a lot scarier that tinfoil answer

100% true, and further, this is 100% the case with the majority of conspiracy theories
/theorists and its JUST AS frightening. the reality is so much worse than the fantasy and yet we ignore the more genuinely insidious shit going on right in front of our noses and perpetuate nonsense and bullshit.
 
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caliph95

Member
Oct 25, 2017
20,632
I believe they are listening as well. I just went to see End Game last week. For almost 2 months, I'd been successfully avoiding spoilers from social media. The day after I watched it, Facebook recommended a funny video that straight up spoils the ending. I didn't tell anyone or post anything saying I went to watch the movie.
I mean my phone would sometimes tell me to rate places I've been to and it's not hard to guess that you probably went to see the biggest movie of the year
 

caliph95

Member
Oct 25, 2017
20,632
100% true, and further, this is 100% the case with the majority of conspiracy theories
/theorists and its JUST AS frightening. the reality is so much worse than the fantasy and yet we ignore the more genuinely insidious shit going on right in front of our noses and perpetuate nonsense and bullshit.
It's really eye opening
 

LL_Decitrig

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,832
Sunderland
I believe they are listening as well. I just went to see End Game last week. For almost 2 months, I'd been successfully avoiding spoilers from social media. The day after I watched it, Facebook recommended a funny video that straight up spoils the ending. I didn't tell anyone or post anything saying I went to watch the movie.
Did you have your phone with you when you were in the auditorium?
 

Roy

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
2,434
Not a conspiracy theory as far as Facebook is concerned; they admit to it.
 

Gohlad

Avenger
Oct 28, 2017
149
Apps checking your location in the background even with gps turned off is nothing new. The new iOS 13 beta exposes apps that use your bluetooth/wifi signal to get your location without you knowing and shows you on a map where they checked your location in the past. Google apps checking your location without you knowing and then using their maps data to make connections on which places you might have visited in the area / using other phones same data points in your area at the time you where there and then giving you targeted ads. I can totally see them doing that.

Maybe they are not really listening, but the amount of data they gather on your location, people you interact with etc and then giving you targeted ads, which in turn makes a lot of people believe their phones are actually listening in on them tells you all you need to know.

It doesn't matter if they are actually listening or not at this point, the fact people feel that they are being listened on, based on the gathered data through other means is actually the scary part.
 

Dultimate

Member
Oct 27, 2017
266
What's the 'conspiracy' theory in believing that the phones are listening?

If that's the case then the ones debunking it are more conspiratorial because the answers given have a lot of 'its probably cause this, this, this, or that'. Linking three or four things to equal one is more of a conspiracy than one equal one.
 

Red

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,205
Apps checking your location in the background even with gps turned off is nothing new. The new iOS 13 beta exposes apps that use your bluetooth/wifi signal to get your location without you knowing and shows you on a map where they checked your location in the past. Google apps checking your location without you knowing and then using their maps data to make connections on which places you might have visited in the area / using other phones same data points in your area at the time you where there and then giving you targeted ads. I can totally see them doing that.

Maybe they are not really listening, but the amount of data they gather on your location, people you interact with etc and then giving you targeted ads, which in turn makes a lot of people believe their phones are actually listening in on them tells you all you need to know.

It doesn't matter if they are actually listening or not at this point, the fact people feel that they are being listened on, based on the gathered data through other means is actually the scary part.
This has been their business model for years. At this point is it really surprising that they have demographic information about you?
What's the 'conspiracy' theory in believing that the phones are listening?

If that's the case then the ones debunking it are more conspiratorial because the answers given have a lot of 'its probably cause this, this, this, or that'. Linking three or four things to equal one is less plausible than one equal one.
This is a misunderstanding of Occam’s razor. It’s not that the simplest explanation is the best. It’s that the explanation that relies on the least assumptions is likely the better one. We already know Google et al gather information about users to target advertising. We know they target ads based on location, networks, and demographics. This information is enough for them to hit you with highly targeted advertisements. We don’t have to also assume they are secretly recording your private conversations.
 

Dultimate

Member
Oct 27, 2017
266
I do agree that a lot data is derived from your location and they are constantly tracking our locations. Recommending something because you've been somewhere or done something is definitely part of the algorithm.
 

Roy

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
2,434
What's the 'conspiracy' theory in believing that the phones are listening?

If that's the case then the ones debunking it are more conspiratorial because the answers given have a lot of 'its probably cause this, this, this, or that'. Linking three or four things to equal one is more of a conspiracy than one equal one.
I always notice a big delay in location based advertising. We travel quite a bit and we start to get local ads just as we’re about to leave 😝
 

ArchAngel

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
481
My second phone, a China 70$ phone with a SIM just for being a WiFi hotspot has a fake google and facebook account of me. It shows completely different advetisments than my main phone, and that thing is sitting on my table for over a year now. Where is my Mango diet ad on that phone that I got after looking for Mangoes? :(
 

HeySeuss

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,571
Ohio
I can believe that it is possible that our phones can listen to us and identify certain keywords for tailored advertising. In fact, I used to think that was what was happening. But if you consider all the different ways we get determined then you can see things are way more interconnected than you realize. I mean just off the top of my head, let's look at where data can be gathered:

  • Text messages
  • Browser searches
  • Credit card purchases
  • Viewing habits on youtube
  • Which ads you click/skip to identify genres of interest
  • How long you watch the ad before you hit skip ad and play the video
  • Facebook posts
  • Facebook groups (MCU, Sports, etc)
  • Grocery purchases
  • GPS data of where you frequent and what friends frequent the same area (what they like you might like)
  • Travel data
  • Physical stores you visit (GPS)
  • Rewards cards you have at stores
  • Demographic buying habits of similar people to your age and gender
  • Spouse searching habits (think they search a thing, you hear them talk about it, google shows you the ad to leverage a gift purchase)
  • Family searching habits
  • Shared wifi searches
  • Work searches
  • Sharing a PC at work might cross contaminate your ads
  • Age of your vehicle (to steer you into a new car purchase)
I mean I can keep going but all of these things are interconnected. The big players pay all the smaller chain stores to send them buying habits of their customers. They base the ads on all of the combined data and tailor ads based on what you most likely are interested in. They spend billions on this. They are good at it, which is why it is so creepy.
 

orlock

Member
Oct 28, 2017
399
It doesn't matter if they are actually listening or not at this point, the fact people feel that they are being listened on, based on the gathered data through other means is actually the scary part.

i mean, this is kind of (exactly) the point thats trying to be made, here.

they DONT NEED to actually listen, record, and surreptitiously send back audio files of your private conversations and voiced thoughts to some shadowy corp agency to to monitor you as you fart and talk about the weather. they ALREADY HAVE all the information they could want to track you. and yes, that IS scary.

FAKE EDIT the post above me had everything i was just about to type, and its well worth a look. your phone isnt bugged and theyre not listening to you. they dont need to. its MUCH worse than that, and buying into and perpetuating the nonsense of it honestly detracts from the tech-horror that actually exists, like most if what we know as "conspiracy theories".

if it sounds like some tinfoil hat shit, it means people in general will be less inclined to take it seriously, thus being less inclined in general to take real shady shit seriously when we know about it.
 

Mulciber

Member
Aug 22, 2018
2,541
This is a must to look at: https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/6030020?co=GENIE.Platform=Desktop&hl=en&oco=0

Your phone is usually recording you chattering away in the background, and you can choose to opt out of it. If you've never turned it off, check the clips it has recorded of you.
Interesting. It has never once recorded anything other than me explicitly using voice search. Wonder why it is recording some people but not me? Maybe it's just the fact that I'm single and live alone, so I don't talk much, but there's nothing from - say - entire weeks I've spent visiting family, friends, etc.
 

LL_Decitrig

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,832
Sunderland
I can believe that it is possible that our phones can listen to us and identify certain keywords for tailored advertising. In fact, I used to think that was what was happening. But if you consider all the different ways we get determined then you can see things are way more interconnected than you realize. I mean just off the top of my head, let's look at where data can be gathered:

  • Text messages
  • Browser searches
  • Credit card purchases
  • Viewing habits on youtube
  • Which ads you click/skip to identify genres of interest
  • How long you watch the ad before you hit skip ad and play the video
  • Facebook posts
  • Facebook groups (MCU, Sports, etc)
  • Grocery purchases
  • GPS data of where you frequent and what friends frequent the same area (what they like you might like)
Excerpt from a very long but not comprehensive list. When I studied machine learning we looked at ways to handle masses of data like this and come up with reasonable predictions. Such techniques are used in everything from expert systems that help doctors in diagnosis to sophisticated targeting models that help companies to reach potential customers. Even for those who know conventional computing, this style of handling massive data is bewildering in its power. It truly is worthy of the name artificial intelligence. A well trained system can spot trends and clusters the programmer never dreamed of.
 

MrLuchador

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,448
The Internet
Yup. Wife has been watching Handmaid's Tale, she doesn't look at anything online as she's a few seasons behind. Yet, somehow she's been getting adverts for the Handmaid's Tale boxsets...
 

Kain

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,385
Why do you think most of google stuff is "free"? It's not, information is the most valuable resource in the world right now.
 

Ikuu

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,312
Yup. Wife has been watching Handmaid's Tale, she doesn't look at anything online as she's a few seasons behind. Yet, somehow she's been getting adverts for the Handmaid's Tale boxsets...
Oh shit, what other explanation could there be for your wife getting adverts for an incredibly popular TV show than an elaborate conspiracy theory.
 

Powdered Egg

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,449
I crossed paths on the street with Michael Rapapport last week. I turn to my wife, "Was that Michael Rappaport!?" "Yup that was him". Two days ago I tell my son I crossed paths with him. Now today on FB I get ads for his upcoming stand-up comedy shows. How Sway?
 

OrangeNova

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,859
Canada
I crossed paths on the street with Michael Rapapport last week. I turn to my wife, "Was that Michael Rappaport!?" "Yup that was him". Two days ago I tell my son I crossed paths with him. Now today on FB I get ads for his upcoming stand-up comedy shows. How Sway?
Does he have an upcoming comedy show near you? Because if you recognized him you're likely in the demographic that they'd want to advertise to for something like that nearby to sell tickets.
 

Swig

Member
Oct 28, 2017
597
The other night, my gf and I were watching Breaking Bad on TV on my Netflix account. I had a question about the show and went to Google it on her phone. I typed in "who cal" (the full search was going to be "who called hank in breaking bad") and it auto-suggested that exact phrase.

I tried it later on my phone, which was in a different room during the show and started the same search. Completely different suggestions.

You can't tell me the phone wasn't listening.
 

LL_Decitrig

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,832
Sunderland
This is going to be like flying saucers all over again. Everybody who couldn't identify something they saw in the sky used to insist it must be aliens until proven categorically wrong. This is the same deal. People see coincidences and insist their phone must be listening to them and understanding their spoken communications, despite the ready availability of more prosaic, more reliable methods.

Ironically it's the ubiquity of cheap handheld digital network computing devices and their built-in cameras that killed the popularity of flying saucers. That same ubiquity has introduced new myths.

I suppose we should be grateful for small mercies. Nobody is yet claiming that aliens are implanting suggestions in our brains using cellular radio frequencies as cover.
 

Adventureracing

The Fallen
Nov 7, 2017
2,224
Wouldn’t this be incredibly easy to test. Just sit down with some friends and pick random topics to talk about which none of you have any interest in without ever searching for it on your phones and see what happens.

That’s one of the main reasons I don’t believe this because it would be so damn easy for people to find out.
 

MrKlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,270
Wouldn’t this be incredibly easy to test. Just sit down with some friends and pick random topics to talk about which none of you have any interest in without ever searching for it on your phones and see what happens.

That’s one of the main reasons I don’t believe this because it would be so damn easy for people to find out.
As long as you pick the random topics without googling them.

But its already easy (and been done) to monitor network traffic and showing that your voice isn't sent all the time except when a trigger phrase is recognised (which is the only part done locally)
 

Forkball

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,402
The tech companies also know your sleep schedule since you put it down before bed and pick it up when waking.

Stay woke (literally)