Re: Our phones and devices are listening to us
Umm, the contract you signed with the phone provider, the EULA you agreed to when setting up the phone, the EULA you agreed to when installing the app, so on and so forth, all spell out what they aee doing with the data. You ageeed to it. We all do.
Yes, every text you send or receive is in a database. That includes pictures that are sent and received. Post pictures on Facebook? Their EULA states that you are turning over rights to the photos. Your photos become property of Facebook. This isn't new.
I can't speak for Apple but on Android you can opt out of targeted ads. You can turn off your GPS history. I am pretty sure you can disable Google Voice and Bixby requires you to activate the app to get voice commands to work.
Yes, the authorities can open the mic and camera on your phone. They need a search warrant, I believe, to do this legally. They can use fake cell towers to intercept your communications without the need for a search warrant. Typically they are focusing on a specific suspect but if you happen to be in the area and your phone connects to their fake cell tower then all you communications will be intercepted. You are willfully sending non-encrypted information across the public airwaves. There is no expectation of privacy in that regard.
You can buy equipment that does the same thing the authorities can do. It's illegal to own but the people who are using this type of equipment aren't doing so for legal purposes anyway. They want to intercept credit card information, email account information, Amazon account information, social media account information and any personal data they can use to steal your identity, empty your bank account, make fraudulent charges on credit cards, etc. There are some creepers that just want to listen in on you or your spouse or children. They are fewer in numbers but that doesn't mean that there aren't criminals who are after your identity that wouldn't also watch or listen in on your phone.
If you want to be "safe" then put a camera block, a physical block, on the phone. Charge and store the device in a room away from where you spend time in your home. Especially at night when you are having relations with your spouse. Dont let your kids keep their phones in their rooms at night. If that doesn't work for you then at the very least put the device in a bedside drawer or go to a remote control hobby shop and by LiPo battery charging bags. The bags are fire and (small) explosion proof. The phones can be put inside the bag to prevent the camera from seeing anything but darkness. The microphone may pick up audio but it wil be heavily muffled.
Lastly, start using a VPN service for your home internet and for your mobile devices. This will help hide your identity online, at least partially. Your public IP address won't be exposed so it makes it harder to track you. You can go to your Gmail account and turn off focused ads which will also help remove some of the creepy factor. You will still get ads but they wont be based on what you browse/search for with Google products. I believe all platforms are required to have an opt-out option now but that may only be in the EU
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