Monday, June 6, 2016

Facebook denies using microphone to secretly listen to users and show them relevant ads

Have you ever seen ads on webpages relating to something you previously talked to a friend? For some people that was suspicious enough to accuse Facebook of listening in to their conversations, and using it to show them ads - a suspicion Facebook is trying to prevent from taking off, by officially denying such thing.

Our wonderful digital world, filled with trackers on nearly every site already allows for ad services to know many things about us. Just search for a few items on Amazon, and you'll soon find yourself being haunted by it wherever you go, with ads popping up in all sorts of unrelated sites, tempting you to finish what you started.

But, what if such things happen even without searching on the web? With Facebook's app requesting access to the microphone, it didn't take long for someone to consider the possibility they might be listening for certain keywords and do the same sort of targeting. Something that Facebook has already denied doing (though there's no shortage on ad targeting criteria for Facebook, that even include the user's current location.) Facebook say it never listens in on users, and requires the microphone access for its music and TV programs identification.

... Should you decide not to take their word for it, you can simply head into settings, on iOS or Android, and turn off the microphone access to the Facebook app. (Then you'll just need to worry if Apple or Google might be doing the same in their devices... :)

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