Unauthorised microphone access

Discussion in 'Google Android (OS & Devices)' started by maldotcom2, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. maldotcom2

    maldotcom2 Member

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    It's been blatantly obvious for some time that my phone listens to my conversations in order to target me with ads on Facebook. What's not clear to me is how. Both Facebook and Chrome apps have no permissions to access the microphone.

    How is this happening and how can I prevent it?

    Further more is there any way I can setup a time stamped monitor/log of all accesses to microphone and GPS modules?

    Phone is a Galaxy S8
     
  2. mesaoz

    mesaoz Member

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    uninstall facebook and messenger, if you must use facebook use the web version or use an alternative app like Swift
     
  3. CAPT-Irrelevant

    CAPT-Irrelevant Member

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  4. guy.incogneto

    guy.incogneto Member

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    Tinfoil around the phone should do it.

    Also some around your head to be safe. To stop the Facebook app from reading your thoughts

    In all seriousness. The app is not listening to you without you knowing. The site knows your age, sex, partner status, check ins, history, all your friends and all their info. Plus combined with your browser cookie history and whatever algorithms they use, they've gotten a lot of info to send you direct, targetted ads.

    Using a voice to text or voice to search like Google does is not the same as them listening to you. It only records when you tell it to and you agree to use the service at the start and part of the agreement is that you're searches may be used to help improve the service.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  5. mesaoz

    mesaoz Member

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    I saw a test someone did recently where they started talking about a particular thing all the time and would never write the word on any of their devices to see if they'd start getting ads for it, and I'm pretty sure they did... let me see if I can dig it up.

    edit: here's one, the actual testing part wasn't too methodical, but if you do a quick search quite a few people have tested this in similar ways

    https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/j5zap3/delete-all-your-apps
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  6. whatdoesthisdo

    whatdoesthisdo Member

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    Umm I just read an article yesterday saying that Facebook admitted to not only recording microphone captured conversations while not using the app but also having a 3rd party company type out those recordings into text.

    Or did I miss read that article?

    EDIT: seems like it was users that used messenger app. I am sure the article I read said otherwise
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  7. mesaoz

    mesaoz Member

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    Also in home devices, particularly Amazon's definitely listen and report back constantly - it is not paranoia...

    it was even found to be happening with some smart tvs
     
  8. guy.incogneto

    guy.incogneto Member

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    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-fee...ecording-and-transcribing-users-conversations

    That's an opt in feature where it only records when you need it and tell it to.

    If you've read somewhere that an app is listening while not using it, I'd be very interested to read about that.
     
  9. guy.incogneto

    guy.incogneto Member

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    Just like the messenger app, Amazon and Google devices. The recording only starts when the call feature is activated. That snippet is used to trigger your request and may be used to improve the feature overall.

    As far as I'm aware. No device anywhere records everything, all day long, then sends it to someone who tediously listens to it all and then tells Facebook to send you a targeted ad for Crocs.
     
  10. whatdoesthisdo

    whatdoesthisdo Member

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    TBH, I think it’s pretty naive to think they aren’t listening. FB are proven liars and just because they say they aren’t just means they haven’t been caught yet.

    This is not the article I was referring too but..

    “Using a smartphone’s microphone, Alphonso’s software can detail what people watch by identifying audio signals in TV ads and shows, sometimes even matching that information with the places people visit and the movies they see,” the Times explained. “The information can then be used to target ads more precisely and to try to analyze things like which ads prompted a person to go to a car dealership.”

    (And he dodged a direct question about whether Facebook was listening to users through their microphones, saying that was a question for the social media network.)

    http://money.com/money/5219041/how-to-turn-off-phone-microphone-facebook-spying/
     
  11. OP
    OP
    maldotcom2

    maldotcom2 Member

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    Unfortunately that's exactly what is happening to me and several people I know. Plus it's widely reported online. Of course it's not a human listening to it, it's a computer searching for keywords. I saw a video recently where a woman spoke key words to her phone repeatedly and she started receiving ads for those products within a day or so.

    The motivation to do this sneaky shit is huge, obviously. I just checked Messenger permissions - I had microphone enabled. Let's see how it goes with it disabled.
     
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  12. mesaoz

    mesaoz Member

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    I think I'm going to try this.

    Something I'd never search for and just use the word a bit over the weekend. Something I'm not typically interested in. Maybe Kayaks

    Note the 'possibility' that posting about it here 'could' impact the results.
     
  13. Arctic_Silver08

    Arctic_Silver08 Member

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    Is there anyone else here who actually doesn't care that their phone listens to key words? I sure don't, maybe I'm just boring and don't have anything to hide >_>!

    If anything, if I were to get ads, I'd rather them be relevant than irrelevant.
     
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  14. Hater

    Hater Member

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    you could always physically disable the phones microphone then only plug in a headset when you want to make calls if you're super worried
     
  15. Scarpetta

    Scarpetta Member

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    I've started getting notifications from Google about the games that are on featuring my father's soccer team. I've never emailed anyone about it, nor have I liked or followed anything relating to it.
    Only way they'd know is based on conversations I have work my father were my phone is present!!

    Yay.. Google. :Paranoid:
     
  16. whatdoesthisdo

    whatdoesthisdo Member

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    You are the problem.
     
  17. mesaoz

    mesaoz Member

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    I'm not particularly worried, I've 'known' about the practice for a while but I'm with you, If I'm gonna see ads I'd rather they be something I'm likely to be interested in.
     
  18. Arctic_Silver08

    Arctic_Silver08 Member

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    Hardly, I use technology to my advantage not a hindrance.
    Why should I confine myself to a tinfoil house when I have nothing to hide?
     
  19. Hater

    Hater Member

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    because one day the things you do might be considered something worth hiding, and there will be nothing you can do but comply to whatever dumb request such companies ask of you?
     
  20. guy.incogneto

    guy.incogneto Member

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    Same boat here. I don't believe anyone is listening but if they were, I feel sorry for them. My life is boring af.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019

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