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Master Disaster

Anecdote - I'm pretty sure my phone is listening to my conversations all the time

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So this isn't the first time this has happened but this is BY FAR the most specific...

 

Starting last week the place where I work started to install CCTV cameras everywhere, the only place in the entire factory that isn't covered is the toilets and the office complex. Obviously this is causing alarm with the employees and in the monthly works council meeting that happened yesterday the employee representative (who is also my dad) raised these concerns with all the main bosses. I won't go into any more detail than that because its' tangential to the main point.

 

Anyway on my way home from work yesterday my dad was telling me all about the meeting, specifically about the cameras and what was raised and said about them, during this entire conversation I had my Pixel 3 in my hand, the phone was on the lock screen and was NOT unlocked.

 

I wake up this morning and Google news has new notifications (not unusual), one of these notifications is an article titled "Know your rights. Are you being monitored or spied on while at work?".

 

Now call me cynical if you want but the chances of that being a coincidence must be astronomical. I realise that Google do record some stuff but I thought it was only when you talk directly to your phone, not while talking to other people with the phone just present.

 

Has anybody else noticed anything similar with their Android phone? Please share them if so.

 

FTR I'm just about to go into my Google account and disable all the monitoring & recording settings I can find. I have no issue with them recording me while I talk to my phone but I'm not having them listening in to my every word. That's fucking creepy and too much.


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I am fairly sure Instagram does - as well as monitor internet traffic for other devices on the network. There are times where my girlfriend and I will talk about something and she will Google it and then I will get ads. There are times where her and I have tried to talk about something a lot to see if we get ads and sure enough we do. One of those in particular was "ASUS graphics cards". There was another time we drove past these Roxor side by sides and all I said was "oh look those are those side by sides that look like Jeeps" (cause I drive a Jeep). That night got ads for them. I didn't even know they were called "Roxors" at the time and only knew cause I got ads for them. 

 

I have also found that disabling IG's permission to my mic stops all this. 

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My roommate and I constantly get almost the same vids in our recommended feeds, and we don't even subscriibe to the same people on youtube. Google definitely knows we live together.


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Should learn yourself to speak a random gibberish language, like Finnish, so your phones won't understand you -- hell, we often don't even understand each others over here!


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9 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

So this isn't the first time this has happened but this is BY FAR the most specific...

 

Starting last week the place where I work started to install CCTV cameras everywhere, the only place in the entire factory that isn't covered is the toilets and the office complex. Obviously this is causing alarm with the employees and in the monthly works council meeting that happened yesterday the employee representative (who is also my dad) raised these concerns with all the main bosses. I won't go into any more detail than that because its' tangential to the main point.

 

Anyway on my way home from work yesterday my dad was telling me all about the meeting, specifically about the cameras and what was raised and said about them, during this entire conversation I had my Pixel 3 in my hand, the phone was on the lock screen and was NOT unlocked.

 

I wake up this morning and Google news has new notifications (not unusual), one of these notifications is an article titled "Know your rights. Are you being monitored or spied on while at work?".

 

Now call me cynical if you want but the chances of that being a coincidence must be astronomical. I realise that Google do record some stuff but I thought it was only when you talk directly to your phone, not while talking to other people with the phone just present.

 

Has anybody else noticed anything similar with their Android phone? Please share them if so.

 

FTR I'm just about to go into my Google account and disable all the monitoring & recording settings I can find. I have no issue with them recording me while I talk to my phone but I'm not having them listening in to my every word. That's fucking creepy and too much.

Any device with any kind of voice-activated assistant will be listening 100% of the time to hear the magic words. What happens with all that recording is really anyone's guess.

 

It is highly likely that every semi-modern electronic device with a microphone is set to have it always on, regardless of your settings for it. That's why my phones, iPad and laptops go in a drawer when I'm not using them.


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9 minutes ago, Fasauceome said:

My roommate and I constantly get almost the same vids in our recommended feeds, and we don't even subscriibe to the same people on youtube. Google definitely knows we live together.

They absolutely do.  


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1 minute ago, aisle9 said:

Any device with any kind of voice-activated assistant will be listening 100% of the time to hear the magic words. What happens with all that recording is really anyone's guess.

 

It is highly likely that every semi-modern electronic device with a microphone is set to have it always on, regardless of your settings for it. That's why my phones, iPad and laptops go in a drawer when I'm not using them.

The thing is that listening =/= recording. 

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There are definitely ways to be able to shrug these off. One way for example, is that you and all your colleagues were in the same building at the same time and probably left at the same or similar time too. So you shared geolocations with each others and possibly an IP address too if you workplace has their own WiFi. 

Google saw that people within this location/with this IP had an increased interest in Googling workplace privacy like stuff, so they could have reasoned you (having been in the same place), might have wanted this info too.

 

But I don't doubt there is more stuff going on too.

 

Facebook does some weird stuff too (duh!). For example years ago I had a Facebook account. Some time later, my dad made a fake facebook account, because he didn't particularly want an account in his own name.

Anyways, after making this account he got a notification for 'friend suggestions', which included me.. The only reasonable clue as to why it would have been able to do this has been 'same IP' I think..


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I've had the coincidental targeted ads and recommendations happen after speaking about something.  However, I wasn't certain I didn't also have corresponding web activity.

 

What is supper annoying is that I just got a new phone and after uninstalling the useless Amazon apps I've been bombarded with ads for those same damn apps.  


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1 minute ago, jdubya421 said:

The thing is that listening =/= recording. 

Prove it.


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14 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

Starting last week the place where I work started to install CCTV cameras everywhere, the only place in the entire factory that isn't covered is the toilets and the office complex. Obviously this is causing alarm

This is common practice in the US. Every place I have ever worked I was monitored by cameras. Not really a big deal if you do your job and don’t slack off. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, Donut417 said:

This is common practice in the US. Every place I have ever worked I was monitored by cameras. Not really a big deal if you do your job and don’t slack off. 

In the UK its actually illegal unless explicitly stated in your contract plus they have to hire an impartial, outside company to monitor them. Yes i did read the article :D


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4 minutes ago, minibois said:

There are definitely ways to be able to shrug these off. One way for example, is that you and all your colleagues were in the same building at the same time and probably left at the same or similar time too. So you shared geolocations with each others and possibly an IP address too if you workplace has their own WiFi. 

Google saw that people within this location/with this IP had an increased interest in Googling workplace privacy like stuff, so they could have reasoned you (having been in the same place), might have wanted this info too.

 

But I don't doubt there is more stuff going on too.

 

Facebook does some weird stuff too (duh!). For example years ago I had a Facebook account. Some time later, my dad made a fake facebook account, because he didn't particularly want an account in his own name.

Anyways, after making this account he got a notification for 'friend suggestions', which included me.. The only reasonable clue as to why it would have been able to do this has been 'same IP' I think..

I also have a fake facebook and my friend suggestions are filled with my real family. I don't even live in the same state. It was odd to me how they knew, but I guess little details can add up to match your online identity and real one.

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4 minutes ago, aisle9 said:

Prove it.

Check your phone storage and you wifi/data transmission. The recording is either stored on your phone or transmitted and you can check both. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
7 minutes ago, jdubya421 said:

The thing is that listening =/= recording. 

Exactly. I'm guessing they record everything then have an AI voice analyse it all and pick out key words to target you with stuff. I'm pretty sure no human ever listens to 99.9999999999% of it but even so, fuck that.


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1 minute ago, Master Disaster said:

In the UK its actually illegal unless explicitly stated in your contract plus they have to hire an impartial, outside company to monitor them. Yes i did read the article :D

Don’t come to the US because most if not all businesses have some sort of camera system. In some cases police also have direct access, at least in Detroit. For the record they watch employees but I think many also watch the customers, because customers lie cheat and steal. 

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Was I the only person watching the news in 2013 or something?

This is stuff we already know.

I mean, here's a pre-Snowden-revelations video of the then chief technical officer of the CIA all but admitting that the whole purpose of cell phones and Facebook is to grab big data for the intelligence community:
 



As to what you can do about it: Turn your phone off and take out your battery.

Personally, I don't care if Google shows me an add or an interesting story about something I was talking about. Because it brings it out in the open. If we force the companies to stop doing things like that, they will still collect the data, it just won't be obvious that they are doing it. Then everyone will forget that this type of data collection is going on and no one will bother trying to stop governments from doing it.


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