Is Facebook spying on your conversations to target you with ads? Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 31st Oct 2017
Zuckerberg himself famously taped over his camera, but should you also watch what you say around your mic?
Spend enough time on the internet and you’ll eventually see ads targeted specifically to you. Facebook is no different. Watch a trailer for Justice League and you’ll start seeing ads for comic books or other superhero movies. Many of you likely didn’t realize it was happening for some time after it started. It’s a system we’ve basically accepted as part of our daily lives, but some people are now theorizing that Facebook might be using a computer’s microphone to mine your conversations for ads.
The BBC reports that PJ Vogt, who presents a tech podcast called Reply All, sent out a tweet calling for people’s stories regarding why they believe Facebook may be listening in on their conversations for the purposes of ad targeting.
Rob Goldman, Facebook’s VP of ads, chimed in to reassure people that Facebook does not use people’s mics as a way of spying on them.
Despite the many responses that Vogt received, there isn’t much, if any, concrete proof that Facebook uses people’s mics to spy on them.
As for why Vogt’s Tweet got so much attention, one explanation is that it is simply a matter of coincidence. The ads might have been there the entire time and people simply didn’t notice them at first.