Is Facebook listening to me?
Data regarding our purchasing behaviour is highly valuable to companies looking to satisfy consumer needs – some that we didn’t even know we had. Think of the potential revenue companies could generate if they had access to our conversations and could target adverts directly related to a product or service we’ve been longing for on platforms such as Facebook. Have you ever been mindlessly scrolling through your newsfeed and wondered, “that’s so strange, I was just telling Sarah about those new Steve Madden shoes, and now there’s an advert for them right on my screen.
Maybe I should buy them”.
A growing number of smartphone users are conspiring that Facebook is listening to their conversations and using the data to issue personalised advertisements at them – which, by the way, is definitely a breach of privacy. It’d be rather simple for Facebook to implement a system that eavesdrops on conversations, pulls out keywords and phrases and shares consumer data with companies looking to advertise on the social media giant’s feed.
And with 1-2 billion active users daily, what company wouldn’t be rushing to take advantage of this highly valuable data?
Despite accusations from a growing number of smartphone and Facebook users, Facebook VP of advertising Rob Goldman has been quick to deny the conspiracy, insisting on Twitter that the company does not and has never hacked users’ microphones. In the meantime, there are ways smartphone users can secure their smartphones and prevent hackers from breaking through.