Is Facebook Spying On Our Conversations?

Technology SecurityThere’s no denying that Facebook knows a ton about you. But just how much of your info does it have, and how does the company go about getting it? The social media giant closely follows your activity both on the web and in real life in order to target advertising at you—but some users think it goes further than that. There’s even a popular theory that the site may be listening in on your conversations.

One user told Mashable that he tested the hypothesis by talking about Kit-Kat candy bars constantly for two days. After that, he claims Kit-Kat ads began to appear on his Facebook. Another user recounted a similar episode when she texted a friend about Warby Parker glasses, and then began to see ads for the company pop up in her feed.

However, the microphone listening theory has been denied by Facebook. So what’s the explanation for strange incidents like this? Basically, we forget all of our online behavior that Facebook is capable of observing, and chalk up any weirdness to spying because we already suspect the worst from Facebook. And that’s not necessarily wrong.

“In many ways, of course Facebook is spying on you,” said Brandie Nonnecke, an IT expert at the University of California Berkeley. “It’s not doing it for malicious reasons. It’s trying to tailor content to you and advertisers.”

So while that isn’t exactly comforting, at least Facebook isn’t physically listening to you. We don’t think, anyway.

Recommended Resources

bitdefender trafficlightBitDefender Traffic Light is a free cross-browser add-on that intercepts, processes and filters all Web traffic, blocking any malicious content and taking browser security to new levels.

PIAPrivate Internet Access is an award-winning, cost-effective VPN solution. The use of an anonymous and trusted VPN is essential to your online privacy, security and identity protection.

System Mechanic 14 – Make your computer run like new. Winner of 200+ Editor’s Choice awards!

Wanted Criminal Challenges Police Department On Facebook And Fails Miserably Previous post Wanted Criminal Challenges Police Department On Facebook And Fails Miserably Facebook Accidentally Outs Sex Workers’ Identities Next post Facebook Accidentally Outs Sex Workers’ Identities