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IsYour Smartphone Listening to You? (Answer: Yes, Constantly)


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#1 TVCasualty

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 02:02 PM

And not just when you think it is. If it's in the room, it hears ya!

 

 

 

It all began with a car crash.

 

I was doing some ironing when my mum came in to tell me that a family friend had been killed in a road accident in Thailand.

 

My phone was on the worktop behind me.

 

But the next time I used the search engine on it, up popped the name of our friend, and the words, "Motorbike accident, Thailand" and the year in the suggested text below the search box.

...

 

One friend complained to her boyfriend about a migraine, her first ever, only to find the next day she was being followed on Twitter by a migraine support group.

 

Another had an in-depth chat with her sister about a tax issue, and the next day was served up a Facebook advert from tax experts offering advice on that exact issue.

...

 

One reporter mentioned his male colleague seeing online adverts for sanitary pads after discussing periods with his wife in the car.

 

But surely if the microphone was activated and the handset was sending data, battery life would be even worse than it is now and individual data usage would be through the roof?

Tech challenge

I challenged cybersecurity expert Ken Munro and his colleague David Lodge from Pen Test Partners to see whether it was physically possible for an app to snoop in this way.

 

Could something "listen in" at will without it being obvious?

 

"I wasn't convinced at first, it all seemed a bit anecdotal," admitted Mr Munro.

 

However, to our collective surprise, the answer was a resounding yes.

 

They created a prototype app, we started chatting in the vicinity of the phone it was on and watched our words appear on a laptop screen nearby.

...

 

The whole thing took a couple of days to build.

 

It wasn't perfect but it was practically in real time and certainly able to identify most keywords. The battery drain during our experiments was minimal and, using wi-fi, there was no data plan spike.

 

"We re-used a lot of code that's already out there," said David Lodge.

 

"Certainly the user wouldn't realise what was happening. As for Apple and Google - they could see it, they could find it and they could stop it. But it is pretty easy to create."

 

"I'm not so cynical now," said Ken Munro.

 

"We have proved it can be done, it works, we've done it. Does it happen? Probably."

...

 

From: http://www.bbc.com/n...nology-35639549

 

Sure, Apple, Google and Facemask (err, I mean "book") deny doing anything of the sort and the article went on to quote a guy waxing philosophical about "coincidences," but the capabilities of our computers and software have developed to a point where if one can imagine a plausible scenario for a novel form of surveillance then it almost certainly already exists and in active use (and this particular development was easily proven plausible, and relatively simple to accomplish).

 

And as anyone who compares what's reported by mainstream news sources to the actual timeline of certain developments they report on knows, the information such sources provide will always be behind the curve. Sometimes way behind (e.g. see the documentary Citizen Four). So the story posted above may already be (and probably is) obsolete.

 

 

It's probably prudent to take stock of where things stand with surveillance and privacy-eroding technology using the most current information you can find, extrapolate from those findings to project 2 or 3 "developments" ahead to get an idea of where things might stand a couple of years from now, then proceed to conduct yourself as if they are already in active use (because they probably are).

 

 


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#2 Pan1

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 07:45 PM

People thought i was crazy, about 7 years ago i bought a laptop, first thing i did was put a piece of black electrical tape over the camera (which i just ripped off the other day). Go out for coffee with my friend, they would ask whats that for, I would say "So they cant watch me", they thought i was crazy.

 

Now a lot of manufacturers are listing that they are recording your voice and watching you on cameras for "advertizing purposes". Phones, smart tvs, windows computers.

 

I'm Watching YOU!!!!


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#3 Myc

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 11:01 AM

The thing that bugs me most about all of this is that these devices are sold as expensive tools.

 

When, it turns out, they are just really expensive, bejeweled, collars. (For which some of us fork-over some serious cash.)

 

Meow.

 

I always try to make sure the phone is "hooded" at home. An un-tucked shirt helps to obscure the view. An impact resistant case further obscures the view (and sound). Fixes will always be one step behind the technology.

The fact that these phones are becoming so "necessary" has not gone un-noticed. I rarely get to use this word - but smart phones are nearly ubiquitous. Homeless folks have them, they are used for war operations by "apparent" nomads in the middle-east, ..... I even see them in war-torn, poverty-stricken countries of Africa.

We can't feed a starving globe - but the poor can all call each other to compare notes on how hungry they are today.

 

Ahem.

Again, I say..........Meow. 


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#4 Zen_

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 10:43 AM

You're aware of this, riiiight?  ;)

 

http://www.theatlant...your-tv/416712/

 

8itja6e.png

 

 

The TV is on in the background, and you’re replying to a quick email on your phone nearby. You don’t know it, but the devices are communicating. During a commercial, the TV emits an inaudible tone and your phone, which was listening for it, picks it up. Somewhere far away, a server makes a note: Both devices probably belong to you...


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#5 TVCasualty

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 11:05 AM

Tinfoil hats look more rational every day...

 

:tinfoil:


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#6 Alder Logs

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 11:09 AM

Tinfoil hats look more rational every day...

 

:tinfoil:

 

It's just so cumbersome to have them continuously hooked up to a ground wire (the only way they are effective).   Ungrounded, they attract and amplify signals both incoming and outgoing, via antenna gain.  


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#7 TVCasualty

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 11:13 AM

 

Tinfoil hats look more rational every day...

 

:tinfoil:

 

It's just so cumbersome to have them continuously hooked up to a ground wire (the only way they are effective).   Ungrounded, they attract and amplify signals both incoming and outgoing, via antenna gain.  

 

 

I saw the study done by a couple of MIT students that proved that. But how can we be sure they're not just paid shills trying to suppress the use of tinfoil hats?

 

It's hard to know who to trust anymore, so I generally go with "nobody!"


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#8 Alder Logs

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 11:15 AM

MIT has duplicated what this high school dropout figured out?   Should have applied for a grant I guess.



#9 Alder Logs

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 11:20 AM

BTW, I figured it out when my car radio was drowned out by spark plug noise.  This happened when corrosion opened the connection of the hood's ground strap to the body.  The hood (tinfoil hat) became the antenna for the radio interference (satellite transmissions).



#10 Il19z8rn4li1

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 03:19 PM

I hate how smart phones are now a days lol... i liked when they were dumb :P

 

 

 

Its good stuff, because my buddy has noticed this same stuff.

It has happened to me too.

 

Would be chatting about something, then I notice some advertisement that

resembles what one of my past convos was regarding.

 

happens all the time really.

 

 

I always believed and always said...

"You know, TVs work BOTH WAYS"  (lol) 


Edited by Il19z8rn4li1, 08 March 2016 - 03:42 PM.


#11 Zwapa

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 03:31 PM

it's just a way synchronism works. don't blame da phones ... or tv's , google etc :huh:



#12 CatsAndBats

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 05:50 PM

Google and all the other data mining/voice recognition/nonsense doesn't understand nonsense. The people that I speak to about sensitive or private matters, can have an important conversation without revealing anything of import. In a crowded room or over the phone. That's why colloquialisms, nuance, and cockney slang can be employed with little to no risk. Watch the Sopranos, people make fun of the 'Joisey' accent, but "did you call that guy, no not that guy, the guy with the thing, no not that thing, the other thing" and so on.. 

 

Or just get super stoned and BLAST Morbid Angel, like cool cats.


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#13 Ovoideocystidiata

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 11:42 PM

the more technologically advanced the world becomes could open many doors for those at the top of the food chain to explore different avenues.



#14 riseabovethought

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 11:35 AM

?

Oh, I get it^

You're giving us an example of saying something without saying anything.

Touche'

 

So yeah, we can talk without talking, but that would really be a waste of time IMHO.

Small talk alone is enough to produce deep gut wrenching nausea inside my soul, just to play along.

I hate it.  What happened to free speech?  We got our guns, maybe we should take back that shit.

 

So, my question is, Who's listening in on us?  Who exactly?  Seriously, who am I trying not to offend?  Because if its Trump or Hillary -makes quite a difference, and if its someone completely different who doesnt change every 4 years, which it probably is, then we are being listened in on by... ?.. some rich old vampire confused at our new lingo and slang?  I mean, I know its all to protect us from bomb -talk or whatever, but what are they really listening for?  -Shit about them?  -Probably.  -Political enemies?  -Probably.

 

Doesnt that make surveillance kindof against the best interests of We, The People, who obviously pay for it (in more ways than one)  So then why do we allow it?  Because we are not evolved enough to care about each other like we're actually family members.  Instead of seeing ourselves in others, we see potential enemies and danger. We think its good for our security to keep an eye on you and the 'other' who we do not identify with, and at the same time we instinctively incorrectly assume that those listening are on our side - as if they will look out for us.  I wonder where that confidence in power wielding Father- figures came from, exactly, especially with that blind faith having so consistently been squashing us like bugs since days of old...Yet, we still hope and even assume they will surely see themselves in us.  

[Direct Link]


Edited by riseabovethought, 17 March 2016 - 01:29 PM.

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#15 Alder Logs

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 11:46 AM

post-131808-0-23279200-1458665199.jpg

 

 

 

Molecular-Laser-Scanner-For-Airport-Security_photo_medium.jpg


Edited by Alder Logs, 22 March 2016 - 11:47 AM.


#16 niemandgeist

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 10:23 PM

As others have said, Smart TVs are also listening:

 

http://www.geek.com/...corded-1647353/

 

 

Samsung was put on the defensive recently when someone noticed that its smart TV privacy policy included some rather troubling warnings. Owners are informed that they shouldn’t have personal conversations around the TV, because it’s listening and may transmit their personal information. Is it 1984 yet?

This warning applies only to Samsung TVs that have always-on listening features. These sets usually have a microphone built into the remote, allowing you to issue commands to the TV after speaking a particular phrase that wakes up the system or by hitting a button. But what happens to all that voice data? According to Samsung’s privacy policy, “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.”

The sterile language of privacy policies sometimes makes things sound worse than they are, so let’s examine what’s probably happening here. With most voice recognition systems, no data is captured until you trigger it (either with a hotword or button). At that point, the voice data is transmitted over the internet to be converted into text and used to issue commands to the TV. So why not do that locally? Voice recognition is hard and requires a lot of computing power, making it easier and faster to just send the data away to be processed.

Samsung-Smart-TV-hardware-boom.com-00-62

 

It is, therefore, possible you could accidentally (or on purpose) trigger the voice features and say something of a personal nature. For example: “Channel up… hey, by the way, check out this rash on my butt.” Samsung has clarified this process and names the aforementioned third-party — it’s Nuance Communications, the company behind the Dragon voice recognition products. They’re doing the processing of voice data for Samsung.

This isn’t anything new for Samsung, but it’s still something you should know if you have one of these TVs. It has come up before, but this is the first time Samsung has been forced to update and clarify its privacy policy.  If this whole thing creeps you out too much, you can disable the voice control features on Samsung TVs by going into the TV settings then to Smart Features > Voice Recognition > Off.



#17 CatsAndBats

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 11:17 AM

bump



#18 Schteuben

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 06:59 AM

Dude, It might be my paranoid ass brain; but I swear I have experienced some targeting ads on facebook. 

Like i'm talking to my lady about a certain brand of hiking bags that I can't remember, but I never once typed that shit into my search bar, phone, or anything.

The next day, I log onto facebook and boom, the same exact brand of hiking backpack I was talking about!

Fucking creepy man!

I have since deactivated facebook, and I no longer carry a cell phone. Not because of this incident in particular, but in fact my new years resolution.   

 

Like I say though, I don't give a flying fuck if they are listening or watching. I walk around my house naked and play a mixture of metal and gangster rap -- Let them listen.  :meditate:


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#19 Alder Logs

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 09:53 AM

Okay, one more time:  Paranoia is the fear of unreal threats.



#20 Schteuben

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 03:07 PM

EntfMCQs4Iw


Edited by Schteuben, 15 April 2018 - 03:20 PM.

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