For years, many Facebook users have expressed the belief that Facebook is tapping into their phones’ microphones to listen in. According to the conspiracy theory, Facebook is doing this to better target ads. And this week, a tech guru devised a test to prove once and for all whether our phones are being used to eavesdrop.
According to Morten Rand Hendriksen, you can make an agreement with a friend or family member to discuss a product or service anytime you’re together. You must keep your phone close during these discussions, and during the test period, you can’t interact with any websites or social media posts related to the topic. According to Hendriksen, this proves definitively that Facebook is not listening in on your conversations — which is what the company has said all along.
“Some recent articles have suggested that we must be listening to people’s conversations in order to show them relevant ads. This is not true,” Facebook said in a statement. “We show ads based on people’s interests and other profile information — not what you’re talking out loud about… We only access your microphone if you have given our app permission and if you are actively using a specific feature that requires audio.”
Of course, the social media giant is obsessed with gathering as much of our personal data as possible, so it’s understandable why some users would think Facebook was snooping. But it’s reassuring to finally know for sure that this isn’t the case.
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