With all the recent headlines about the new iPhone having the ability to spy on people, one would think this phenomena is new.
It is anything but new. For the past almost entire decade if not longer, cell phones have had the ability to record people’s conversations, share photos and videos with other entities without permission, and all kinds of things like that.
Last year, a video went viral at a whopping 687,000 views, titled“Facebook iPhone Listening into our Conversations for Advertising TEST,” posted by the YouTube channel Neville Black. It actually blew up recently, it may have had few views before the anticipation of this new iPhone.
The video proved that Facebook was serving ads based on conversation spoken in front of the iPhone, something many other people have noticed in recent years.
You might be talking about chocolate, or new couches, and ads for those specific things would appear immediately in your Facebook newsfeed following the conversation in front of the phone.
A recent comment by the video poster reads:
UPDATE: Apparently this is up on Reddit and people are talkin’ about this. I made it over a year ago now. So instead of replying to all comments below I’ll just post this – This isn’t something I posted to get attention, I really couldn’t give a turd if anybody saw this at all. It was just for my friends after a conversation about it. So I didn’t record too much or make a super ‘scientific video’ for Reddit etc, in fact looking at this from an outsiders perspective it’s a shitty video. Again it was for my friends but it’s legit and there was nothing but cat food ads for days. It wasn’t a coincident because we did this a few times and it always produced results with other keywords. Somebody told me it’s if I’ve given permission to use the mic, but I haven’t tested that out. Also, lots of “Why didn’t you show the ads before?” to which I say, “Good point! That would have made sense.” but again, made quickly for friends who know me and trust me so… shrug Just try it out yourself if you don’t believe it. Give it a couple days. Just make sure you do it around your phone, but talk about your subject like hashtags and keywords and make sure it’s something you’ve never typed or talked about. This was made over a year ago so not sure if anything has changed. Or don’t try it, I dunno. lol shrug
As the video creator said, try it for yourself. It might not perfectly work the first time but this is a real thing: tape your microphone and camera at all times, on your phone and laptop if you want your mind at ease about surveillance.
And for a bit more info about the big picture behind surveillance, watch this.
Or if you want to strike back against surveillance, one strategy is interesting: the idea of recording who is recording you back, or “sousveillance.” Source: Anongroup