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A friend of my wife came to visit us and she mentioned a specific business in our town.

My Android phone was sat on the coffee table before us.

After my wife's friend left, went I went upstairs to my office to get on with some work and when I opened Chrome, there soon came an advert for the exact same business that my wife's friend mentioned.
 

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They do listen. Cortana, Siri etc. do listen. Google does nothing but give your location and follow the phone owner. Constantly asking me how my visit was to such and such a place, etc.
 

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It should be against the law if this is happening. Why has this not been called out in the news etc.? There could be a data base on all my conversations somewhere. On my phone, I have just stated to notice that when I get a voice mail, the message is converted into text automatically - so all of our conversations could be residing somewhere in the form of text - I think this is over the line.

I guess they could be viewing through my phone or computer camera as well??
 

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I don't think that phones are supposed to be able to do that, but I have also had some very surprising cases where searches have turned up exactly what I was talking about. It is possible its just coincidence - you talk about a lot of things and search for a lot of things, but I'm not sure.


A friend of my wife came to visit us and she mentioned a specific business in our town.

My Android phone was sat on the coffee table before us.

After my wife's friend left, went I went upstairs to my office to get on with some work and when I opened Chrome, there soon came an advert for the exact same business that my wife's friend mentioned.
 

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I always tell people never send anything by text or message apps that you want kept secret. If you know the right people and are willing to pay then anything you type on a phone can be retrieved.
One of Britain’s most popular Sunday papers was shut down over illegal interference with phone texts. In one case a girl had been kidnapped and murdered but because of newspapers hacking into her phone to read messages both the police and her parents thought she was still alive.
 
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If you really want an eye opener, research the "five eyes" surveillance situation. This has been going on for a looong time!
Basically what is unconstitutional in one country against it's citizens such as keeping phone records and yes, even the text version of what was said without a warrant, is not unconstitutional if one of the other 4 countries does it. And they do reciprocate. So at the risk of sounding paranoid, yes it is more than possible that some entity (or government) is keeping the actual digital voice data or text data from everything, including what was said while your device was supposedly not even listening.
The Five Eye countries are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Don't be fooled by the Five Eye Alliance just being those countries either. There are more alliances doing that in the world.
 

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Umm, the contract you signed with the phone provider, the EULA you agreed to when setting up the phone, the EULA you agreed to when installing the app, so on and so forth, all spell out what they aee doing with the data. You ageeed to it. We all do.

Yes, every text you send or receive is in a database. That includes pictures that are sent and received. Post pictures on Facebook? Their EULA states that you are turning over rights to the photos. Your photos become property of Facebook. This isn't new.

I can't speak for Apple but on Android you can opt out of targeted ads. You can turn off your GPS history. I am pretty sure you can disable Google Voice and Bixby requires you to activate the app to get voice commands to work.

Yes, the authorities can open the mic and camera on your phone. They need a search warrant, I believe, to do this legally. They can use fake cell towers to intercept your communications without the need for a search warrant. Typically they are focusing on a specific suspect but if you happen to be in the area and your phone connects to their fake cell tower then all you communications will be intercepted. You are willfully sending non-encrypted information across the public airwaves. There is no expectation of privacy in that regard.

You can buy equipment that does the same thing the authorities can do. It's illegal to own but the people who are using this type of equipment aren't doing so for legal purposes anyway. They want to intercept credit card information, email account information, Amazon account information, social media account information and any personal data they can use to steal your identity, empty your bank account, make fraudulent charges on credit cards, etc. There are some creepers that just want to listen in on you or your spouse or children. They are fewer in numbers but that doesn't mean that there aren't criminals who are after your identity that wouldn't also watch or listen in on your phone.

If you want to be "safe" then put a camera block, a physical block, on the phone. Charge and store the device in a room away from where you spend time in your home. Especially at night when you are having relations with your spouse. Dont let your kids keep their phones in their rooms at night. If that doesn't work for you then at the very least put the device in a bedside drawer or go to a remote control hobby shop and by LiPo battery charging bags. The bags are fire and (small) explosion proof. The phones can be put inside the bag to prevent the camera from seeing anything but darkness. The microphone may pick up audio but it wil be heavily muffled.

Lastly, start using a VPN service for your home internet and for your mobile devices. This will help hide your identity online, at least partially. Your public IP address won't be exposed so it makes it harder to track you. You can go to your Gmail account and turn off focused ads which will also help remove some of the creepy factor. You will still get ads but they wont be based on what you browse/search for with Google products. I believe all platforms are required to have an opt-out option now but that may only be in the EU

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I don't think that phones are supposed to be able to do that, but I have also had some very surprising cases where searches have turned up exactly what I was talking about. It is possible its just coincidence - you talk about a lot of things and search for a lot of things, but I'm not sure.
If you have an iPhone, you specifically have to turn off the "always listening" feature. It's auto-enabled. Some people love to be able to just say "Hey, Siri" and have the phone respond. But what that means is that the phone is, indeed, always listening to you. Otherwise, you'd have to push a button in order to activate the Siri feature. The same holds true for any device that automatically responds to voice commands - Alexa, Echo, Google, etc. So, if you don't have to press a button or open an app to get your phone to talk to you, then it's a guarantee that it's always listening and using what it overhears to "improve your user experience".
 
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But are they able to process all speech in real time? I thought they processed locally for keywords "Hi Siri", then started sending to the central server. Otherwise it sounds like a lot of bandwidth.

If you have an iPhone, you specifically have to turn off the "always listening" feature. It's auto-enabled. Some people love to be able to just say "Hey, Siri" and have the phone respond. But what that means is that the phone is, indeed, always listening to you. Otherwise, you'd have to push a button in order to activate the Siri feature. The same holds true for any device that automatically responds to voice commands - Alexa, Echo, Google, etc. So, if you don't have to press a button or open an app to get your phone to talk to you, then it's a guarantee that it's always listening and using what it overhears to "improve your user experience".
 

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If you have an iPhone, you specifically have to turn off the "always listening" feature. It's auto-enabled. Some people love to be able to just say "Hey, Siri" and have the phone respond. But what that means is that the phone is, indeed, always listening to you. Otherwise, you'd have to push a button in order to activate the Siri feature. The same holds true for any device that automatically responds to voice commands - Alexa, Echo, Google, etc. So, if you don't have to press a button or open an app to get your phone to talk to you, then it's a guarantee that it's always listening and using what it overhears to "improve your user experience".
This is why I refuse to put Alexa or Google Home in my house. I work in tech. I know what is involved with the tech behind this and I don't trust the companies that produce the products. I don't trust facial recognition in its current form either. I accept the risks associated with fingerprint scanning but only because my fingerprints have already been recorded by authorities.

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Since AOL and Yahoo merged, they have come up with a new TOS. They want you to agree that they can access your e-mails and photos and share with whatever entity they deem fit. All in the name of providing you with better advertising geared specifically to you. Aren't they considerate? Bastards.
 

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Eh. Let them listen. I think it would be funny if some guy or gal would have to sit there listening to me and my wife ****.

Now when I plan a big heist, Ill just make sure to plan it covertly away ffom mics and cameras.
 

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Since AOL and Yahoo merged, they have come up with a new TOS. They want you to agree that they can access your e-mails and photos and share with whatever entity they deem fit. All in the name of providing you with better advertising geared specifically to you. Aren't they considerate? Bastards.
People still use AOL or Yahoo?
 

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Two decades + ago if you had said this, people would have thought you were a lunatic.

The privacy we give up for allowing our electronic device to be smart while we all dumb down.


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@MattMatt, have you specifically activated siri or Alexa on your devices?
No, I haven't. Though I did notice the same thing happen a couple of months ago, I was talking to my mother in her home about something, picked up my Android phone and got an advert appear that was the topic of our conversation.
 

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Gmail apparently includes ads, based upon the content of the email. My favorite columnist(Gene Weingarten) did a bit on this where he sent appalling emails no company would want to have their name associated with, and then published which companies Gmail decided were good for someone eloping with a terrorist.

If you read this, my fav is the ad for a bathtub toy submarine.

Gene Weingarten - Gmail Intuition
 
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