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Coincidences? Are they listening?

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Coincidences? Are they listening?

Old 23rd Apr 2022, 11:02
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Coincidences? Are they listening?

Recently wife & I discussed returning to NZ. Next day looking at newspaper online
a sidebar popped up from NZ immigration informing me of regulation for importing
various things.
A few days ago we discussed TV license. Last communication with those people,
a while ago, they told me to do nothing until I get a letter from them. Today the letter
arrived.

I asked my phone if it listens to me, it says not, but obviously it does otherwise
how does it know to respond.
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 11:15
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I haven't had personal experience of this with my mobile phone (Android), but I have seen it on a number of occasions with my daughter's iPhone.
We have tested it by deliberately talking about subjects unlikely to pop up randomly as adverts - Elvis Presley going to the zoo or something like that. Very shortly afterwards, adverts for London Zoo and Elvis Presley albums appear.
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 11:26
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Absolutely it listens.

Friends have set up calls to test the theory by included words in a call that were totally unrelated to their conversation or previous searches and texts.

If I remember correctly, callers agreed prior to include a phrase regarding a visit to Istanbul, a city which neither of them had any intention of visiting, and a couple of other fake comments.
Shortly afterwards the caller received advertising for holidays in Turkey. Coincidence? Other fake comments made did not generate a response.

Makes you think,

IG
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 11:33
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I have an Android and a laptop...

One day a couple of years ago, I was thinking, just thinking mind, of buying some castors to make up a furniture skateboard and what should pop up from Amazon on the "tailored" ads on PPRuNe and elsewhere...

Yes I did buy some to build my skate and very useful it is too!
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 11:38
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My wife suggested that she would like a “smart speaker” a couple of Christmases ago. Santa obliged. After too many “strange coincidences” she is now convinced that “Hey Siri” listens to what goes on here and she leaves his mains cable unplugged most of the time.

Let’s face it, the Soviet Union admitted years afterwards that they had TV sets that looked and listened, so it’s entirely feasible that there’s more to some of these electronic devices than meets the eye.

The bigger question is who is listening to them.
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 11:53
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
The bigger question is who is listening to them.
Don't look out the window, but there's a black van just across the street...
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 12:02
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Actually, there’s a blue one belonging to my wife! But she never listens anyway…
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 12:14
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
My wife suggested that she would like a “smart speaker” a couple of Christmases ago. Santa obliged. After too many “strange coincidences” she is now convinced that “Hey Siri” listens to what goes on here and she leaves his mains cable unplugged most of the time.
Hard to imagine how the device is supposed to respond to "Hey Siri" if it's not listening to everything that's said.
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 12:23
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It is your phone, but it's one behalf of somebody else. After adverts started popping up online after a random discussion about housesitting, I dug into my settings and discovered that the google app had been given permission to use the microphone on my phone (no doubt the default setting) - now disabled, of course!
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 13:44
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Don't have a smartphone or speaker but, on the basis of this thread, checked and found that my laptop mic was live. Fixed that, and the camera.

On reflection, I know its made some very poor decisions recently, but it has given me its complete assurance that its work will be back to normal. It still has the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission.

I feel much better now, I really do.
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 13:58
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We watched "The Social Dilemma" on Netflix a while back. May not be 100 true, but opened our eyes.
About half way though, we paused it, picked up our matching phones and search "car rental", the responses were slightly different between the two phones. Tried "dog food", same result.
Guess what showed up here and on other of my feeds? Car rental and dog food.
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 14:23
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I was in front of Alexa when I told the person I was talking to about a friend’s heart attack. Alexa immediately chimed in with a list of heart attack symptoms.

Alexa is not supposed to eavesdrop unless you say, “Alexa” out loud beforehand.
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 14:26
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In addition, many websites use Google as their search engine when you try to find something on their site.

Google (and Facebook) cheerfully harvests every scrap of information it can about you to try to pitch targeted advertising. It’s how they make money.
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 14:52
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I don't understand ... I've probably been short-changed ! I've tried shouting, whispering, and all levels in between and, ... nothing ! I pick it up and all I get is that infernal background buzz, no adverts, no pictures - and nothing when I put it back on its cradle, either. Should I unplug it or just accept that it's duff ?
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 15:01
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The only way to stop devices from listening is to physically disconnect the microphone. A software off switch can be ignored or overridden.

I also would not put it past the manufacturers from using the flat surfaces (screen or back side) as a microphone independent of the actual discrete microphone.

Even paranoids have real enemies.
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 15:14
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Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
I have an Android and a laptop...

One day a couple of years ago, I was thinking, just thinking mind, of buying some castors to make up a furniture skateboard and what should pop up from Amazon on the "tailored" ads on PPRuNe and elsewhere...

Yes I did buy some to build my skate and very useful it is too!
Despite being constantly implored to do so by MS, my phone isn't linked to my PC. However, the "tailored ads " do follow my occasional purchases from Amazon.

That said, some of the helpful ads on here have been a shade intriguing....such as various styles of women's clothing, including some, ahem, specialist apparel, some very thoughtful ads helping me emigrate to Ecuador, Colombia and Turkey, not locations that I've given a lot of thought to relocating to let alone searched about.

However, ask Alexa "why is Trump such and asshole ? " or, " are you stoned out of your mind ? " when she gives an inane or incorrect answer....the inflection response is "somewhat indignant "

The hovel is an Alexa free zone, these questions posed at a friends ...so that's her now registered as a troublemaker I suppose
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 16:55
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Hard to imagine how the device is supposed to respond to "Hey Siri" if it's not listening to everything that's said.
The manufacturer prefers one to believe that it does nothing until the magic words trigger it into action. I’m not sure about that because it will occasionally answer what appears to be a random question that was never asked.
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 18:20
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I use
https://duckduckgo.com
as a default search engine. Supposedly, they protect your privacy, but given that they don’t rely on ads, I don’t know how they stay in business.

But as I mentioned above, many other websites rely on Google as their default search engine.
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 18:38
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One will remember that a couple of years ago some members of staff at the Big River were listening to activities taking place in the homes of people who had the box. Having a laugh - they said!!!!

I doubt things have changed:

Listening In

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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 19:46
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An inane aspect about Amazon is that once you have purchased a specific item from them, which probably won’t fall to pieces within a few days, is that they keep suggesting that you buy it again….

Hello? Can’t you tell that you already shipped me the said product and I don’t need two of them?
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