Is Facebook listening to what you say? No really, is it listening to your conversations? That seems pretty messed up if it’s true. This guy and his wife used their iPhone as proof that Facebook is listening in thanks to whatever invasive programming is placed in the device. That’s beyond creepy if it’s true and it sounds unbelievably illegal if it is happening. The sad part about it is that there is no doubt a clause or some line in the contracts that people sign that states that this is somehow okay. If we took the time to read the fine print and every last little word of the contract the legalese would give many people a headache and come off as a second language what we simply couldn’t decipher. But to the manufacturers and those that write up these contracts it no doubt makes perfect sense and they know at the time of writing it that they’ll be likely to fool a lot of people and up the sales of their sponsors and anyone else that can contribute to their profits.
That’s one long-winded theory however. Another is that Facebook goes by preferences that can be found in the purchases people make and the average money they spend on certain products. But if this couple had never mentioned cat food before and didn’t have a cat then how in the heck would Facebook know to start targeting them with cat food ads? You could also argue that it’s just a randomized thing that goes out to so many people in order to get their attention, but the idea that it shows up a couple days after mentioning cat food is a little odd and too coincidental.
We all love our devices for the most part. They make life a little easier at times and can be a lot of fun and very convenient. But if we start giving too much authority over our lives to those that own the services we use on these devices it seems like a very real way to stop being individuals and be seen as just numbers on a screen, a statistic that will help one company and perhaps hinder another. At one point we all become a piece of data to be moved around and shuffled from one database to another in order to maximize exposure in a further effort to maximize profits. That is some very creepy stuff.
Was there ever a day when people were just people and could rely on not being watched or listened to by faceless corporations and social media that would start bombarding us with images and things we didn’t need or didn’t want until we saw them in an ad? Well, the last part has been pretty standard for a long time, but the idea that there are people listening in on our conversations whenever our phones are on and sitting nearby is disturbing to say the least, and a bunch of bull to say the most.