Fear that Facebook is Listening in On Your Conversations? Here’s how to stop it
Over the previous two weeks, we’ve talked about how Amazon and Google are using their AI assistant devices and services to spy on their users’ online activities and gather personal information. In this week’s Zlog, we’re rounding up the topic with yet another huge online platform that has been of undertaking similar activities – Facebook. The most popular social media platform has been the focal point of many privacy scandals over the years, including accusations that it is listening in on the conversations of its users. Read this week’s Zlog and find out the myths and the truths surrounding this controversy, as well as a few useful tips you can apply to stop Facebook from listening in on you.
The Background of these Accusations
A few years back, Facebook has gone on record to say that it does not access 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.
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.
How to Stop Facebook From Listening in On 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)
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.
Keep Safe and Vigilant
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. 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.
Additionally, one of the best ways to maintain privacy and anonymity on the internet is to use a VPN service every time you go online. This way, you’re taking the utmost precautions in ensuring that your private information stays as such. Sign up with ZoogVPN today and keep tuned to our weekly Zlog posts to stay on top of the latest online privacy trends.