The bigger culprit for conversation monitoring is Google' assistant (and the other comparable systems like Alexa). The danger doesn't lie in how they target ads. True danger comes when ideological differences drive those in power/possession of this data to exert control and/or maintain that power. We have gladly welcomed this comprehensive & pervasive surveillance infrastructure into our intimate lives. All it will take is the "flip of a switch" for it to become an incredibly powerful tool for control. For example, I can't imagine what the Communist Party in China is doing with this capability in that country. [Got this screen shot yet, Google Chrome? 😂]
Matt Fletcher
Excellent, well written detailed article, doubt many other news sources will cover this information at all, let alone in detail. I deleted the Facebook App from my phone months ago but now I will officially be deleting it this weekend and a number of other apps as well. Those who don't understand and value the Right to Free Speech (includes privacy: the right not to have everything you say heard) and the Right to Protect oneself and others (1st & 2nd amendment) before long won't have either. Thanks for letting us know.
I don't mind if I see ads that target me, it's much better than ads for something that has nothing to do with me. And there is a broad gap between "advertising" and "hacking". One wants to sell me something, the other is nefarious, and I don't think they should be used in the same sentence. I guess what I'm saying is I don't care if marketers know about me and my interests, but I do care if security holes allow hacking. One should be doable without exposing the other.
Big Brother is....
Zubin Grant
This article is adeptly written but still has a few general assumptions. First, sending uncompressed, or heck, even compressed audio streams do take a lot of data, over the past couple years, both Google (with their Assistant) & Apple (thanks to their acquisition of Shazam) have software included in phones that is able to transcribe speech into words/buzzwords that can then be fed as 'terms' to personalize the ads shown to you. Softwarsles such as this are bundled as products such as Shazam, for eg., you can ask Assistant to identify music too. And Google has their call transcribing service coming soon too. Aka, they're making a list of terms you talk about, while in convo with a friend or solo. This equates to nothing as huge text files are still only a few kilobytes in size. Second, this article ignores the usage of social buttons such as 'like' that grace most websites, heck there's a sign-in with FB option on New Atlas itself. This allows FB to track you even when you don't have their website open. Granted, that has been common knowledge for a while, clearly it wasn't enough to satisfy the whims of advertisers. Google is kind of a mixed bag here. In account settings, you can turn off ad personalisation which disables showing you ads based on interests & you'll start getting more generic ads. However, nowhere does it say that they'll stop collecting data, they still do & keep it in their records, just that you don't have to be paranoid about seeing such relevant ads. If you've been keen to notice, battery life has definitely taken a hit since Lollipop/Marshmallow days, yet CPUs continue to get more efficient & we're fitting bigger batteries than ever. This is because the microphone hardly consumes any energy but having it on with analysis software running 24*7 does. In fact, I'd go as far as to say, that is what the low power cores were included in octacore SOCs. You do not need 4 damn cores to check for notifications & calls while phone is inactive, which is the usual front, the explanation given.
Expanded Viewpoint
As I have said many times before, cell phones are the planetary IQ test, and only a very few will be able to pass it. I am smart enough to be able to structure my life so as to not need one to survive. Huh, survive. The data mining that goes on and what is done with that data after it is collected, is the absolute LEAST of our worries with those devices. The ill health caused by the microwave radiation that they emit every two to three seconds to keep a link with the towers far outweighs being given an opportunity to spend some money on some product or service. If you can't control your spending habits, that's your own fault. When I see that someone had a fourth of their outer ear sawed off and a patch of keloid scar tissue the size of my hand on their neck and scalp. or a woman die of ovarian cancer or breast cancer due to where she stored her cell phone, or bladder cancer and kidney disease, or even just a bald patch of skin on a thigh the EXACT size of a cell phone, I have all of the evidence that I need to see to know how dangerous those things are. My own opinion of cell phones, is that they are the Chlorine being dumped into the shallow end of the gene pool. You have been warned once more. Randy
Edna Perez-Cardona
Julian Assange warned about how Facebook, Google, Yahoo were allowing the CIA to access user data.
Besides disabling Locations Services, deleting the apps, what else can you do? Does a VPN help?
While I do NOT use Facebook, I am more than a little concerned about the whole Google business. I have to wonder, though, at least in the case of my own phone, whether Google is awake when the rest of the phone is asleep. Further, I keep it in a belt pouch, which would muffle any verbal communications that much further. The whole issue of privacy in the 21st century has done nothing but become more muddled, and I for one don't see a whole lot of people trying to un-muddle it.
Corporations are evil. They have zero morals. They have zero conscience. Dump Facebook. It's destroying democracy.