Your Phone Is Listening and it's Not Paranoia


Wow this is amazing. I wonder if anyone has ever done what he did (on purpose mentioning certain topics to see if it results in adds by Google or Facebook) in a more extensive, researchy way

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A fellow user reported something like that already:

"I got really skeptical when I was talking about needing some new fishing rods amongst friends face to face; and I kid you not the next time I opened Android on my phone, there was and ad from sportsmans warehouse for rods and reels on sale now.
So I got to thinking this android was watching, listening , cataloguing everything I did, yet I kept it within reach 24/7. I couldnt help it. Not only this they knew what I was watching, listening, eating, buying, throwing away, and when and how and how often I did everything."

This is why we need hardware switches and software where you control your apps and not vice versa. I think those methods are creepy and cross the line.

yeah i agree. But it would be good if there existed a proper study of this, really documenting it.


I wonder if the following app would help in this situation. It essentially takes over the microphone so apps can’t use it without your knowledge.

PilferShush Jammer (Block unwanted use of onboard microphone) -


This PilferShush Jammer looks great, thank you for the recommendation. It’s good to discover new, useful apps. Lately I tested ElectroSmart, which is an Electromagnetic-Field detector (but has only a privacy rating of 4.0).

You’re right. It makes sense, but still reminds me of conspiracy theories.

It’s really striking that these data stealing companies just grow and grow.

Ministry of Freedom on the other hand is in trouble ( ). It’s one of the few companies which is delivering hardware with completely open source software. Hopefully this project will survive, at least I donated.

Btw there are more and more mobile phone users who told me the same stories with talking about something and getting related ads delivered.


This is exactly why I installed /e/. I think this problem is inherent (and reprehensible) on typical cell phones, but hasn’t /e/ fixed this so we don’t have to worry about this issue? After reading this, I would like to be reassured that /e/ phones are safe. If anybody can respond, thanks in advance.

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@pmoody It is and at the same time it cant really be.
It all depends on the apps and services we use and what the companies providing the apps and services actually do.

That makes sense. I am not adding apps that make me vulnerable so I am very happy with the /e/ product.

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Well they do this because it pays.

Great docu on this by a Harvard professor


Thanks for the video!

This is a really great interview. It brings all unbelieveable topics to a understandable point. Great. This should be a video direct on the first page of the /e/-Website :wink:
This video must be spreaded to todays lazy an naiv people and Users of smartphones an all this survilance Business stuff.
I am really impressed of this interview :slight_smile:

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I was wondering not to find any reference to the prof. Zuboff’s books in this forum.

The age of surveillance capitalism is a “must read” book.

Same video but outside of g**gle


Why would Henway argue that listening and analyzing everything you say at any time is the same as reading a browser history? One gains so much more information about someone else when listening to them speaking. Your mood, your phrasing, how you talk to others, who you talk to and if you tend to hold monologues it could get really spicy… but you all probability already know.

Interesting experiment, but the conclusion (of the article) is kinda sad imho.

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In theory this should be easy to test I thought but in less than one minute after starting I realized it’s much easier to taint the research in trivial ways. In short I took a Samsung from a relative that had everything Google installed, including the assistant (although without the “OK Google” feature) and started to shout at it “fishing rods”. Next thing I know after leaving the phone idle for a while a take it, open the browser (Chrome!) but in the meantime absent mindendly I enter already fishing in the search bar which (without even tapping search) promptly gets completed with a couple suggestions (like fishing tackle, fishing club, fishing rods and so on!!!).

This should be a double (at least) blind test, with somebody shouting at the phone (preferably from some commercial products chosen at random) and then somebody else (maybe the device owner) reporting what he’d got.

Also this part is completely unproved (and should be easily provable by just building your own app that extracts anything from what people talk):: In the absence of these triggers, any data you provide is only processed within your own phone. This might not seem a cause for alarm, but any third party applications you have on your phone—like Facebook for example—still have access to this “non-triggered” data.

Using Android now for some weeks, I know why I have delayed the change to it as long as possible. Obviously, all research and energy is invested in the spyware functions (fortunately removed in /e/) and optical appearance but none in the usability. I wonder why so many people spend money for phones with android and google spyware inside…

RIP BlackBerry 10 :cry:


Ironically enough Google is tracking each and every visit to this thread, no matter the browser and OS (assuming the “normal”/default configs not a bunch of extensions blocking various things or blocking in the DNS or some other drastic measures).