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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? Is Facebook listening to me?

Despite accusations from a growing number of smartphone and Facebook users, Facebook VP of advertising Rob Goldman has been quick to deny[1] the conspiracy, insisting on Twitter that the company does not and has never hacked users’ microphones. In the meantime, there are ways[2] smartphone users can secure their smartphones and prevent hackers from breaking through.

Is Facebook listening to me?

References

  1. ^ deny (twitter.com)
  2. ^ ways (www.macworld.co.uk)

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