Spooked your gadgets are eavesdropping? Discover how to run a check.

December 17, 2023
1 min read

Key Points:

  • Marketing team under Cox Media Group (CMG) claims that devices are actively listening and collecting data.
  • Their claim stating that devices are recording voice data is baseless and lacks evidence.
  • Modern Android and iOS security features enable users to check and control microphone permissions of apps to maintain privacy.

Technology and privacy concerns are not new and often cause unrest among users. Recently, 404 Media reported that the marketing team of the Cox Media Group (CMG) is claiming that “your devices are listening to you” and extracting data that can be sold to advertisers. This idea of devices actively listening might sound invasive, but fortunately, it’s not accurate.

CMG marketed this purported “Active Listening” feature to potential clients. They claimed to collect voice data clips like “The car lease ends in a month- we need a plan” or “Do I see mold on the ceiling?”. However, the company’s claims of recording voice data are unsupported, and Gizmodo pointed out that there’s minimal evidence that our phone’s microphone is secretly eavesdropping on our conversations.

Advertisers find it more straightforward and cost-effective to gather your web data, such as your search queries, browser cookies, and social media posts. Using AI to sift through hours of audio files is inefficient and complex by comparison. Android phones and iPhones have robust security protections; if your device was indeed spying on you, you would know.

With modern versions of Android OS and iOS, your smartphone displays an indicator when your microphone is in use. If you are still not convinced that your phone isn’t secretly recording you, you can delve into your phone’s Permission settings and check which apps have access to your microphone. Both Android and iOS devices make it easy for you to check app permissions.

Being cautious about your device security is wise, considering the advancements in technology and the increasing threats to our privacy. Understanding and properly setting up your device’s security features can give you the assurance and peace of mind that your phone isn’t clandestinely listening to you.

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