Does Facebook listen to you?
A few years back, Facebook has gone on record to say that the company does not collect and use its users’ microphones to affect what type of news or product ads they see in their Facebook Feed. While such a statement surely is encouraging to hear, user experiences often tend to dramatically differ from this PR message Facebook has released to the world.
Many users have reported eerie coincidences that they’ve received directly targeted ads revolving the things they talked about with their family members or friends just before. While there is no concrete evidence that Facebook is listening in on you, with so many unclear information and arising issues, the user experience is just not worth it if you’re worried about your privacy all of the time. It is also obvious that Facebook would profit from such practice, considering the amount of resources invested in AI specifically for the Facebook marketplace.
On top of all of these happenings, its recently become public knowledge that Facebook is actively working on rolling out its own voice AI that would rival those from Google and Amazon. Just like Siri and Alexa, Facebook’s voice assistant would work through a mic, which automatically opens the door for Facebook to partake to activities similar to those we’ve talked about in the previous posts. Even though there was an attempt with Facebook’s now discontinued voice assistant called M, Back in 2022, Mark Zuckerberg announced that he wants to build a metaverse voice assistant that can potentially dethrone Alexa and Siri. However, with the current state of Metaverse and the lack of interest for it, it is unclear whether this plan will come to fruition.
How to Stop Facebook listening to you?
If you fear that Facebook might be spying on you and using your mic without your permission to gather valuable information on you, there is something you can do to put a stop to this. It is, of course, to disable your microphone settings for Facebook apps, which you can do in just a few simple steps.
How to Turn off the Mic in the Facebook Apps
When you first installed the Facebook app on your Android or iOS device, you’ve likely given it many permissions to run it, including access to your microphone. If you don’t want for Facebook to still have this permission, you can simply revoke it by doing the following:
- Open up the Settings app on your device
- Find the Facebook app and access it
- If the microphone slider is blue, turn it off (the slider should be grey when the mic is off)
To stop Facebook listening to you on an Android device, do the following:
- Open Settings and proceed to Apps
- Scroll down to Facebook and then Permissions
- Turn the microphone slider off.
However, the App settings varies depending on the maker of an Android smartphone.
How to Turn Stop Facebook Listening in on You Through Messenger
By turning off the mic for Facebook, you can still be compromised as the Facebook app isn’t the only Facebook product that can listen in on you. We are, of course, talking about Facebook Messenger, an app that goes hand-in-hand with the base Facebook app. If you wish to do the same with Facebook Messenger as we’ve advised you to do with the Facebook app, you can do it by following the same steps we listed above, just with the Facebook Messenger app instead of the Facebook one.
Besides the big issue we just talked about above, most of us are aware that Facebook is always trying to get as much information on its users as it can. There are many other ways Facebook collects and tracks your data, including location tracking, third-party apps, among others.
Is Facebook listening to me? As we’ve seen in the cases of Amazon, Google and this week, Facebook, large companies such as these don’t always have the best interests of their users in mind, even though they advertise as user-friendly services. They often use your personal information in order to make a profit by selling it to advertisers. These companies are just the three biggest ones out there that have been accused of spying on their users, although there are many other online businesses that do so daily. That’s why you should always take great care of your privacy and never trust any site based on face value.
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