Quickcheck: Does your smartphone really listen to your conversations?

HOW often have you found yourself discussing a specific product with a friend, only to see specific advertisements pop up for that exact item not long after?

The uncanny timing may prompt you to question whether it's mere coincidence or something else at play.

It raises concerns about how your conversations and customised advertisements line up.

Could there be a more reasonable explanation or is there a secret digital eavesdropper at work?



Despite extensive known data mining practice, there's no evidence of direct microphone interference on the user's device.

Our data is frequently stored on our smartphone by websites and applications when we give permission for cookies to monitor our online activity or when we allow apps to access our data.

In order to improve user experience, the websites would employ "first-party cookies" to hold information about our interactions, such as login credentials.

Not only does information come from website visits, but it also comes from your searches, built-in voice assistant interactions, YouTube history, app usage, and Google advertising.

Additionally, marketing agencies that collaborate with websites use "third-party cookies" to quietly gather your data across various sites, helping them target advertisements effectively.

This enables marketers to target us with advertisements depending on our data as well as that of our friends and family, therefore building a comprehensive profile of our current preferences and needs.

While concerns about smartphone surveillance are all too real, in today's digital world, it is vital to understand data collection mechanisms and start taking precautions to protect private information.

Remember to be mindful of the information you disclose when accepting permissions or enabling cookies.


1. https://theconversation.com/is-your-phone-really-listening-to-your-conversations-well-turns-out-it-doesnt-have-to-162172

2. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-11949047/Is-phone-really-listening-DailyMail-com-puts-test-brand-new-cell.html

3. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/commentary/smartphone-listening-ads-app-privacy-cookies-1950641

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