By Paris Finnie
It has been purported that The Facebook app (Messenger included) has been listening to our conversations, “to better assist our experience.” The application uses microphone access to extract key points in our conversations. The information received would then be used to suggest a post, or send relevant advertising to our feeds.
To elaborate on the former point, the application would listen in on a song or television show we are watching. When or If were were to open the app, it would suggest to post in our feed the song so or show it had overheard. The ever inviting “What’s on your mind?” now becomes more rhetorical than inquisitive.
The listen in feature, depending on the perspective, can serve a benefit. Advertisers would kill for access at that level and there is high doubt Facebook would turn away the ad revenue the company would generate. The feature may also help during an emergency. Perhaps someone is in danger. Listening to someone in panic or confrontation may prove life saving. Now the last point we know is far reaching, but it is still a possibility. The end goal of complete prediction through tech is appears to be more realistic every day.
John Connor would turn in his Skynet grave if he were to learn Siri could predict the sex of the phone caller albeit it being unsaved to our device. Or how Netflix can push a certain title to the forefront of our choices based on our previous binges. Or Youtube recommends videos upon pressing enter (or return) to the sites web address. Given, there has been some awesome discoveries from the suggestions in these features, but when does it become too invasive?
For those who demand a little more privacy there is a way to avoid Facebook’s digital stenographer. For the IOS users proceed with the following: Settings> Privacy> Microphone> Messenger or Facebook. (If you use voice recorder to send messages this will be an issue). For the android users its too late for you, google already knows. Or you can grasp a little hope and proceed with the following: Settings > Privacy>Change permissions for Facebook.
Facebook has been under a lot of scrutiny over this feature. There has yet to be a public address from the company. There is plentiful expectation Facebook will not change especially since a user can block the apps use of the microphone.
Remember, Don’t just believe what we say. Research what we say!