Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower: Facebook Able to Listen to You at Home and Work

I suppose we all suspected that this was going on, but this appears to be confirmation of that suspicion. He says they don’t actually listen to the context of the audio, but …


Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christoper Wylie, appearing before a committee of British MPs on Tuesday, said that Facebook has the ability to spy on users in their homes and offices. He said, in reply to a question:

“On a comment about using audio and processing audio, you can use it for, my understanding generally of how companies use it… not just Facebook, but generally other apps that pull audio, is for environmental context,” Wylie said. “So if, for example, you have a television playing versus if you’re in a busy place with a lot of people talking versus a work environment.” He clarified, “It’s not to say they’re listening to what you’re saying. It’s not natural language processing. That would be hard to scale. But to understand the environmental context of where you are to improve the contextual value of the ad itself” is possible. “There’s audio that could be useful just in terms of are you in an office environment, are you outside, are you watching TV?”

Facebook denies this, But users have raised concerns about the practice after observing that they’ve been targeted with ads for products they’ve never expressed an interest in online. Many Facebook users have reported examples and alleged evidence that the app is listening in on their conversations.

Video of his testimony:

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7 Responses to Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower: Facebook Able to Listen to You at Home and Work

  1. czarowniczy says:

    Hmmmmmm….seems to me like I’ve heard somewhere of the practice of using your electronic devices to spy on you without your permission of knowledge…just can’t remember where.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lucille says:

    It’s not just Facebook, Google and whatever…it’s the websites which insist you turn off your ad blocker or you can’t access their content. Those websites are driving this agenda also, including so-called conservative sites.

    I’m happy to look at sites which don’t pop-up their threats. However, the “you can’t view me unless you pay me via letting me inundate you with ads” attitude is downright boring. OK, fine. I won’t view you and give you the clicks you desire to keep in business with Google or Twitter or FB because I want to have an ad-free life. But even with an ad blocker, ads still get through if you’ve once visited or purchased from a site.

    I no longer FB or Twitter or MySpace (although when I did, I liked MS best). Don’t need ’em, don’t want ’em!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. czarowniczy says:

    My folks spent their time trying to sneakily woiks dey way into your house/car/wherever so that you wouldn’t know. Mission was to be an unobserved fly on da walls, listen and see but not be heard or seen. ALL OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA PLAFORMS spook around, the data gathered are sold to marketing firms as that brings in money. I don’t know if the offended snowflakes stopped to think about it…OK, I do…but how do they think the site owners keep providing expensive services and living a celeb lifestyle?
    Now the same airheads that whine about social media covertly spying on them are inviting, paying for and inviting, things like Amazon Echo and Google Home into their homes. These little sponges are supposed to sit off-line until your command word is spoken and then it fires up. That begs the question of how ‘off-line’ can it be if it actively sits there, waits for and analyzes your speech for activation but I’ll skip that for now.
    We wasted allllll of that time trying to sneak into your life when all we had to do was knock on the door and ask if you’d mind if we came in and looked over your shoulder. Now we have one and possibly two generations who’ve entirely given up on the concept of privacy.


  4. michellc says:

    I think it’s more than just FB and Google, although I know they spy on you. Around Christmas when I was doing a lot of shopping I understood it when I bought something online, that all of these people knew what I was buying. However, even when I shopped in retail stores and used cash and only had my phone in my purse, they still knew where and what I bought.
    It was more than just a little creepy when I would get on FB at home and see ads for places I had shopped and items I had bought. I don’t have FB app on my phone.
    WalMart app I did have on my phone, but removed it when I got on and they suggested items I had bought at the bricks and mortar WalMart with cash.

    Since then I started leaving my phone in the car when I go into a store.


  5. joshua says:

    good to know that SOMEONE will listen to me at home….even if it is some buncha internet creeps. Heck, all us toxic masculine old privileged white guys don’t get much attention otherwise.


  6. jeans2nd says:

    You all’ve no idea. Some know, but most refuse to believe, that there is, and has been since at least mid-eighty’s if not before, code buried in the firmware in the chips on each MoBo. Facebook, Twitter, etc, is child’s play.

    Perhaps the best thing about our last plant closing and all losing our jobs was being freed from that durn cell and pager. We even had walkie-talkie phones (refused to use those).

    Clear back at the beginning, even pagers were tracked. Broke my heart when Wicked Son found a job in high school and bought a Nintendo and pager. WS understands now. But going well over a year with no phone, and leaving the phone in the drawer most times is most liberating. Try it, you’ll like it. 😉


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