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Fri Apr 19, 2019, 12:38 PM

I know people say that Alexa listens in, but does my cell phone eavesdrop on me?

The other night I was visiting at my daughter's house. My granddaughter was playing various songs on the tv with youtube for background noise while we were talking. I asked if she had ever heard an old favorite of mine so she called it up and played it. The next morning I had a google pop up asking if I wanted to hear more songs like the 30 year old song I had mentioned the night before.

What's up with that? I didn't do a search for the song or play it on my phone. It was just sitting on a table in the same room. I'm starting to hear the Twilight Zone theme song in the back of my mind.

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply I know people say that Alexa listens in, but does my cell phone eavesdrop on me? (Original post)
Arkansas Granny Apr 2019 OP
DetroitLegalBeagle Apr 2019 #1
msongs Apr 2019 #2
Iggo Apr 2019 #3
happybird Apr 2019 #4
fierywoman Apr 2019 #5
Delmette2.0 Apr 2019 #6
RKP5637 Apr 2019 #7
CrispyQ Apr 2019 #8
Kablooie Apr 2019 #9
Submariner Apr 2019 #10

Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 12:49 PM

1. If its a smartphone, yes

At this point basically anything with a microphone should be assumed to be eavesdropping on you.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 12:50 PM

2. the google equivalent of siri can be turned off nt

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 12:53 PM

3. If it can, it does.

I know that sounds simplistic, but it really is that simple.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 12:56 PM

4. Yep. It's always listening

Had a similar thing happen a few months ago.

My husband, a friend, and I were discussing something– can't remember the topic now, but it was something I had definitely never looked up on my phone. Later that night, my phone started sending me ads about it and YouTube started suggesting videos about it.

I freaked out and disabled all the OK Google functions (which I never used, anyway), Google Assistant, and revoked all microphone permissions for Google. Since then, it's been nutty how many times boxes asking for permission to access the microphone and my photos pop up. And it's always for stuff that has no reason to access the microphone or photos. They're just trying to get me to turn it all back on again, or (I suspect) hoping I'll quickly tap on OK to dismiss the box without realizing what I'm approving. Ugh.

Despite all the blocking, I bet my phone is still listening. Invasive bastards.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 12:56 PM

5. You can go to Settings and turn down the volume of the microphone.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 12:57 PM

6. Yes, they listen in.

I was talking to my son in pwrson about a medical issue and with in week I started getting phone calls for a class action lawsuit.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 01:24 PM

7. Use a microphone block app. I use that and also a camera block app. n/t

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 01:27 PM

8. I keep mine covered.

I don't know how sensitive the mic is but I keep my phone covered most of the time. And maybe turning off Google features limits what the apps can access on your device but I'll bet Google listens & tracks everything it can. Privacy is dead.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 01:34 PM

9. iPhones have a special chip listening specifically...

The phrase “hey Siri”
It doesnt record or connect to the main Siri database until it hears that.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 02:01 PM

10. Since I read a few days ago that Alexa staff listens in to "improve the product experience"

I've been saying multiple times per day

"Alexa; Shoot (insert last name here)",

and she has answered back

"I cannot find that" or "I can not do that operation".

Today the only sound it makes to the same command is a quick two-tone ho-hum like sound.

So I'm thinking they do listen and adjust responses to our Alexa commands. Try it yourself and see if you get a phrase response, or a tone sound.

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