Smartphone Listening In?

smartphone listening in

I was completely skeptical when my elder son warned me that my Smartphone was listening in to my conversations!

He has, in his life, had some wild theories that I have dismissed….

  • He told me not to sell the tiny Bitcoin fraction I had no further use for. At the time of writing, it's probably worth ten times what it was worth then
  • He bought 20EU worth of Litecoin, and they are now worth 600EU
  • None of that is investment advice. Just recording what happened
  • OK – not ALL of his predictions have come true (yet?) but he's done a lot of investigation!

However, my Smartphone listening in to my conversations – that was one theory too far for me!

So I decided to “disprove it” for myself.

My Smartphone Listening In?

My friend and I had a test conversation, with my phone in close proximity, about a short trip we were planning to make to Norfolk. Not long after that, Facebook adverts started appearing for Norfolk venues. But I dismissed the test as inconclusive, because I HAD been doing some online research and even the newest online marketer will soon become aware of retargeted adverts.

As an aside, have you ever noticed how the adverts keep appearing AFTER you have made your purchase – sometimes with a discount that you didn't get? Quite depressing really. But I suppose the ads must be profitable overall, or they wouldn't keep doing them. Would they….?

Harder To Explain Away

It was my birthday earlier this week. Thanks to all those who were kind enough to send me Facebook greetings.

My younger son couldn't be with me on the day, so he and his wife bought me my favourite brand of perfume. It's one I haven't bought, or researched online for probably 6+ years, because I have been well-supplied with other brands.

But bless their hearts, Matt and Elke summoned out from their memory banks that THIS brand was my actual favorite, so on Thursday morning I opened their parcel and found these:-)

So naturally I rang them to thank them.

It's important to note that I rang them on my landline, not my Smartphone, because I find mobile devices hard to hear, and the connection to Matt (out in the country) keeps dropping. Great for contact on the move, but goodness knows why people use them when there's a perfectly good landline sitting next to them!

However my Smartphone was in the same room. No reason for it not to be. It's a mighty useful device – I'm just not keen on it for every-day calls 🙂

So I thanked Elke and Matt for remembering that this was my favorite brand, despite me not having used it for several years. And of course I named the brand!

Later that day a Facebook advert appeared. OK, coincidence…..

Then another one the next day, for a different product but with the same brand name. Is coincidence becoming more unlikely? Time will tell, and I'm watching!

Of course two adverts hardly represents proof, so I decided to do a little research of my own.

Who Else Says My Smartphone Is Listening In?

So – how about you? Have you got any stories (or coincidences) that support the possibility of your Smartphone listening in?

Please let me know in the comments below.

London After Dark

Thanks to Mr Ed of FarSideOf55.com for remarking that the Facebook birthday pictures taken in London look like London After Dark (related to my tagline Blogging After Dark).

I was with my sister at our joint birthday celebration. We were born on the same date, but not twins, being a few years apart.

We went out for a meal together and then to the theatre in London.

Working for yourself has to include some “time out”, when YOU want it, not when your boss grants permission.

We had a great time, ad brought home a few photographic memories of a happy day.

Please share

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Dr. Erica Goodstone - December 18, 2017

That was a wake up call for me. I did not realize the technology was doing that. I know my phone calls people I did not call, just because it was sitting in my handbag and I guess it pressed against something.

I have been irritated by the marketers following me everywhere, not only on Facebook, once I purchase something.

I have not wanted to use an online system that stores my usernames and passwords because I fear that someone can get at it. But I did not realize the phones are becoming more and more like the “1984” world.

So it is good to pay attention to this latest development and watch what you say on your cell phone or even near to it.

Have you seen the latest types of robots – another amazing and scary phenomenon?

Dr. Erica

    Joy - December 21, 2017

    Hi Dr Erica,

    It’s very alarming isn’t it?

    Funnily enough for our book club, my son recommended that I re-read “1984” which I probably dismissed as pure science fiction, and look at how much of it is now science fact. It’s our next “read”. Looking forward to it!

    An amusing story about robots….. on The Apprentice (UK), one task was to programme a robot, and the candidates decided that they would program it to help “the elderly” remember to take their pills and do simple exercises. The “elderly” target market was the over-60s! Lord Sugar’s face was a picture, and he described a far more relevant set of tasks robots could do for the over 60s…. book next cruise, etc etc.

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark

Sharon T McLaughlin - December 19, 2017

Happy Birthday. Your story is interesting, I have not heard this before. I will pay closer attention, thank you for sharing this.

    Joy - December 21, 2017

    Thanks Sharon.

    Now you have heard the story – and from Donna above – you may find you notice something. If you do, please come back and tell us 🙂

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark

Donna Merrill - December 20, 2017

Hi Joy,

Wow I don’t believe in coincidences and that sure wasn’t one that happened to you. Gosh, I’m pretty skeptical now even when my phone is in the room. Hmmm Now that I think of it, I was talking to my daughter on my cellphone about getting her a pair of boots for Christmas. I noticed that ads for boots were following me on Facebook and I never even Googled it nor went on Amazon. Coincidence? I think not!


    Joy - December 21, 2017

    Hi Donna,

    Another occurrence! Glad someone else can back up my observations. I’ve become aware of more and more reports of this happening.

    There is a particularly nice pair of shoes following me round at the moment LOL But stupidly enough they don’t seem to realise that THEY are in the USA, but I am in the UK. Perhaps not completely smart yet 🙂

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark

Edward Thorpe - December 22, 2017

Hi Joy,

Smart phones listening in? Shades of Orwell’s 1984, indeed!

The technology is available, whether it’s in play I don’t know, but wouldn’t be surprised.

Really enjoyed this post as it’s another slice of your personal story. And, btw, for the mention. You know what a scandalous attention tramp I am.

Oh yeah, Happy Holidays to you and yours…

    Joy - December 23, 2017

    Hi Edward,

    Well – who knows! Nothing would surprise me. Mind you, they’re pretty soon gonna get bored listening to me LOL

    Have a great Christmas all of you.

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark

Lisa Sicard - December 24, 2017

Hi Joy, wow I’haven’t noticed it listening in but it knows where I go online for sure as many ads follow after I research a product on the web. I’ll have to start noticing if it happens when I speak via my Android. I don’t think I’d be too surprised though a little crept out.
Thanks for the info and happy belated Birthday!
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas too Joy!

    Joy - December 24, 2017

    Hi Lisa,

    I’m a lot less skeptical than I was when I first heard that my phone was listening in to me!

    Please keep your eyes open and let us know. I’d love to hear whether others notice this phenomenon too.

    Thanks for your good wishes – and my very best wishes to you too, Lisa.

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark

Janice Wald - December 24, 2017

Hi Joy,
I never heard the smartphone was listening, but I heard the Amazon Echo is listening. We have both smartphones and the Amazon Echo. I am not seriously concerned, but you never know…

    Joy - January 2, 2018

    Hi Janice,

    Ah, well I don’t have an Amazon Echo (having to even look up what one is LOL). But I’ll add it to my list of “listening devices”.

    I’m not concerned, because my life is very innocuous. If anything I find it amusing. Although perhaps less so now that I am being followed round by funeral adverts!

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark

Lesly Federici - December 26, 2017

London Looked lovely! Would love to visit one day … Yes, those ads follow me around.. has to do with retargeting code that is triggered when you visit different shopping places? I think – but not sure … annoying too .. Sounds like you had a lovely time… Happy Holidays my friend 🙂

    Joy - January 2, 2018

    Hi Lesly,

    Usually it is about code triggered from visiting shopping sites, but this was a product I hadn’t been shopping for at all. It was an old favorite that I hadn’t bought for years!

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark

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