Summits Yellow

Facebook denies claims that it listens to conversations through phone's microphone

Tyrone Stewart

FacebookThe notion that Facebook hijacks our phone’s microphone and listens in on our conversations to serve relevant ads is something that has been talked about for a few years. And the idea that Facebook just listens in general dates back even further – I remember the rumours when the social network released Messenger back in 2011. Now, however, a Facebook executive has denied Facebook’s use of a device’s microphone.

Responding to a tweet by PJ Vogt, presenter of a tech podcast called ‘Reply All’, Facebook’s VP of ads Rob Goldman rubbished the belief that users’ microphones were used to serve ads they may be interested in.

“I run ads product at Facebook. We don’t – and have never – used your microphone for ads. Just not true,” he said on Twitter.

Goldman’s response to the claims follows on from a statement released by Facebook in June 2016 that denied the use of a device’s microphone, after several articles at the time suggested that the social network does indeed listen.

Despite Facebook’s denial of the claims, several replies to the original tweet suggest this may not be entirely true, and there’s this video that came out in July 2016 that appears to prove that the internet giant is always listening.

On the other hand, some people think it could be down to frequency illusion – or the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon – which is a cognitive bias that makes us think that something we’ve heard about is appearing more often, but it’s simply that we’re paying more attention to it.

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