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Facebook denies eavesdropping on users using phone microphones

Have you ever thought about the permissions some apps you download give to app makers like Facebook? A microphone permission for Facebook specifically makes sense as they have voice and video calling and audio and video recording that requires your phone mic, but are they abusing this privilege?

The BBC shared that the tech giant has been accused of listening in on people’s conversations and then tailoring ads that pop up for them related to their conversation.

2 users tweeted about the possibility of this:

Tori Hoover: “A co-worker got an ad saying, “So you popped the question!” minutes after he proposed, before he told anyone it had happened.”

Brigitte Bonasoro: “At work, happened to me though earlier this year. Working as a barista, got a burn, talked to my partner in person about it, went to Target, bought the burn cream, and saw an ad on FB for the exact product I purchased. Never searched for product either.

In a Twitter conversation Rob Goldman, Facebook’s vice-president of ads denied this in a response to a query from PJ Vogt, presenter of tech podcast Reply All:

“I run ads product at Facebook. We don’t – and have never – used your microphone for ads. Just not true. We show ads based on people’s interests and other profile information – not what you’re talking out loud about.”

Tell us your story, have you ever seen an ad pop up on your timeline that’s similar to a conversation you had?