Facebook doesn’t need to listen to your phone’s mic to snoop on you

Published on April 14, 2018

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ended up spending a total of ten hours of testimony before the U.S. Senate and the House earlier this week. According to numerous reports, Zuckerberg was able to produce only one straightforward, privacy-protective answer during the process. There was a point in the meeting when Senator Gary Peters went on to ask him if Facebook listens to users through their smartphone microphones. He further added to the question by asking whether the social media giant does it to collect information with which they create advertisements. However, Zuckerberg responded with a straight-up no. In other words, Facebook doesn’t need to listen to the users through the microphones because it doesn’t have to if they wish to access information. Even though Zuckerberg did not explicitly mention it, we all know now that the social media technology giant makes use of the most invasive yet invisible surveillance and analysis method to snoop on its users.


The company reportedly works toward accessing enough information about a user to produce uncanny advertisements at the same time. We have been suspicious about the social media giant listening to its users’ conversations for years now. The news has gone on to prompt statements of denial from Facebook leadership as well as former employees without question. Facebook ends up requesting microphone permissions to handle the video posts that they feel like as such.

However, they also put it to use to identify music and TV shows when they are ‘listening to’ the status feature as well. Further technical investigations have gone on to reveal that the Facebook application is not turning your smartphone’s mic into a product that they listen to as such. At a time like this, questions like – how does Facebook serve users with specific advertisements and what explains seeing these ads that you have recently searched for online? The social media technology giant makes use of the following listed tools to scour information about the product:

  • The company ends up tracking the users’ interest through their ‘Like’ button across the web. Whether you are logged into the account or not, Facebook knows what you are liking and disliking.
  • The social media technology giant ends up maintaining shadow profiles on users who don’t necessarily use Facebook.
  • The company goes on to log phone calls and text messages of the Android users.
  • Facebook ends up absorbing unique phone identifiers through in-app advertising in association with one’s identity across the different devices that are put to use.
  • The smartphone ends up tracking one’s location and serves advertisements on the basis of where a specific individual is, where they live and where they work.
  • Facebook reportedly goes on to track all the in-store purchases that remotely link to advertisements that are seen online with the purchases that are made offline.
  • The company ends up watching all the things that one writes on but don’t necessarily posts to track the self-censorship aspect of the company.
  • The company links most of the purchases to Messenger accounts that allow sellers to send confirmation messages without having to wait for the user permission.
  • According to an online report, the company has reportedly purchased and advertised a VPN to track what users are doing on other applications and crush competition.
  • The Facebook app ends up manipulating one’s Newsfeed to see if they can make you happy or sad.

The pointers mentioned above are only the beginning of all the aspects that Facebook uses to track information about users. Therefore, it doesn’t take time for them to understand what kind of advertisements will suit best.

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