An expert claims that Facebook may be listening to our conversations all the time, and the app might also be using phones to gather data about what they may be talking about. Although Facebook agrees that they listen in on what’s happening around the users, the functionality is only limited to offer suggestions to people about what they’re watching or talking about.
What the Experts Think
Professor Kelli Burns, from the mass communication department in University of Florida, has recently drawn attention to this feature, which has been available since the last 2 years.
She said that this tool may not only have been used to assist people but to also serve them with advertisements about what they may be talking about.
The professor said that she wasn’t completely convinced that Facebook is be listening to our conversations (she tested talking around the app, but might have searched about them too for similar adverts to appear in her app). However, she stated that its not something she would be surprised about.
A spokesperson from Facebook said:
Facebook does not use microphone audio to inform advertising or News Feed stories in any way. Businesses are able to serve relevant ads based on people’s interests and other demographic information, but not through audio collection.
The social networking site promotes this feature as a fast and easy way to identify what you’re listening or watching and makes posting about it quicker as well. The feature is limited to US only for now.
How to Turn off the Microphone Listening Feature
Turning this feature off is easy on your smartphone.
iOS users can do this by heading into the app’s settings, then going into the privacy settings and toggling the microphone slider.
Android users can head to the settings and then to privacy settings. They need ti limit the permissions given to the Facebook app.
Privacy is a growing concern in the digital world, with Facebook openly giving the users the option to turn the feature on or off, things seem a little less concerning.
Via The Independent