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Jefke Peeters

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 9, 2020
51
15
Belgium
Yesterday, a colleague asked to my intention why I bought a phone from +1500€. We talked about my new iPhone 14 ProMax.

One reason I choose for an Apple phone is their privacy policy. That explained he told me that all that privacy is even big **** as with Google. He's also an iPhone user.
When we talk about something like "Adidas" he said, I bet you will get publicity about sport things in your Facebook or on webpages or elsewhere.

And this really, really happened... We are a consumer electronics store, I'm not a sportsman, so I never ever look on the internet or speak with something about sporting. Yesterday evening, I open Facebook and WTF: publicity about workouts, sporting and so on.

This is crazy 😵‍💫
My iPhone laid on the table that morning, he was in standby etc.

Does someone has experience with this?

I really don't feel safe anymore...
 

russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,076
9,046
USA
Yesterday, a colleague asked to my intention why I bought a phone from +1500€. We talked about my new iPhone 14 ProMax.

One reason I choose for an Apple phone is their privacy policy. That explained he told me that all that privacy is even big **** as with Google. He's also an iPhone user.
When we talk about something like "Adidas" he said, I bet you will get publicity about sport things in your Facebook or on webpages or elsewhere.

And this really, really happened... We are a consumer electronics store, I'm not a sportsman, so I never ever look on the internet or speak with something about sporting. Yesterday evening, I open Facebook and WTF: publicity about workouts, sporting and so on.

This is crazy 😵‍💫
My iPhone laid on the table that morning, he was in standby etc.

Does someone has experience with this?

I really don't feel safe anymore...
This has been debunked so many times but it refuses to die. Phones and apps like Facebook aren’t listening to your conversations to then target you with ads about what you’re talking about.

The truth is much scarier. Do some research on targeted advertising if you feel like being scared. There’s ways to avoid targeted ads but why and are you willing to go through the necessary hassle.
 

headlessmike

macrumors 65816
May 16, 2017
1,310
2,613
There is a thing called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon where you learn about something new, and then all of a sudden it feels like you now hear about that same thing all of the time even though you are certain that you hadn't heard about it at all in the past. It's a form of recency bias and I suspect that you are experiencing something similar. You probably get served Adidas ads all of the time (based on your demographic and internet habits), but only notice it now because you are looking for them after your discussion.
 

Jefke Peeters

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 9, 2020
51
15
Belgium
The fact is, I never ever searched something in the past about sports and sports stuff, why should I?

During the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, I searched a lot on the internet about Philips Hue bulbs. Never did before, but starting from that time, I get ads about those smart bulbs. Scary, but I can fully understand this.

in this time period between 12h - 20h yesterday, I don't have had touched my iPhone anymore, just for reading an own created Pages document for making a good Bearnaise sauce.

Before yesterday many and many ads for MagSafe covers on the Facebook page. Logical, because I surfed a lot on the www for a good MagSafe cover.

Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon or not, but this is just too accidental.
 

Jefke Peeters

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 9, 2020
51
15
Belgium
LOL, the same as stopping using WhatApp etc. they're from the same bandit.

One problem: not everyone has the same mindset. Some of the groups on FB do I have to follow.
 
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ericwn

macrumors G4
Apr 24, 2016
11,980
10,715
Yeah, could be, and I use Siri.
On the iPhone is "hé Siri" switched off, but not on my AppleWatch 🤨
Given the overall sorry state of Siri’s voice recognition capability if there was any truth to your story it would show you ads for totally random stuff.
If have no doubt that Alexa would mine your data a thousand times more efficient with relevance to product recommendations in the real world.
 

kevcube

macrumors 6502
Nov 16, 2020
416
601
Maybe your friend searched Adidas on the same network as you and that IP was logged.

Maybe it's January and Adidas is targeting less fitness-oriented people for their ad campaigns because everybody has new goals.

But the iPhone is certainly not listening to you while asleep and transmitting that data to Apple or Facebook's ad networks.
 

smirking

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,781
3,763
Silicon Valley
Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon or not, but this is just too accidental.

I never talk about sporting and almost never talk about working out online. I get those ads. Why? Probably because there are some related data analytics that suggests strongly that I'm male and of a certain age range.

But why did you only now get served that ad? You recently bought a new phone didn't you? An ad could be set to target users of specific devices or OSes or certain phones could be indicative of a minimum socioeconomic status.

Yes, you are being spied on in so many ways without your consent everywhere you turn. No, they don't care enough about you to target you specifically. If that wasn't just a random coincidence, then you were targeted based on tangential patterns that placed you within a demographic they found desirable. AI is terrible at understanding nuance.

If the voice recognition engine were scouring your every word for actionable retail insights, expect to be served ads for hay within 24 hours the next time you say "I want a pony" because it's not going to understand you didn't mean that literally. If it were locked in on you, the results wouldn't be shockingly accurate. It'd be wild and hilarious.
 
Last edited:
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FlyingDutch

macrumors 65816
Aug 21, 2019
1,319
1,206
Eindhoven (NL)
This has been debunked so many times but it refuses to die. Phones and apps like Facebook aren’t listening to your conversations to then target you with ads about what you’re talking about.

The truth is much scarier. Do some research on targeted advertising if you feel like being scared. There’s ways to avoid targeted ads but why and are you willing to go through the necessary hassle.
Agree. We are going to receive advertising anyway, so it’s better to have targeted advertising. And no, our iPhone isn’t listening…
 

Love-hate 🍏 relationship

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2021
3,022
3,193
The fact is, I never ever searched something in the past about sports and sports stuff, why should I?

During the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, I searched a lot on the internet about Philips Hue bulbs. Never did before, but starting from that time, I get ads about those smart bulbs. Scary, but I can fully understand this.

in this time period between 12h - 20h yesterday, I don't have had touched my iPhone anymore, just for reading an own created Pages document for making a good Bearnaise sauce.

Before yesterday many and many ads for MagSafe covers on the Facebook page. Logical, because I surfed a lot on the www for a good MagSafe cover.

Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon or not, but this is just too accidental.
This is indeed very interesting and concerning

I have no answer but I’ll follow this thread

Expect people to mock you btw
 

Love-hate 🍏 relationship

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2021
3,022
3,193
Agree. We are going to receive advertising anyway, so it’s better to have targeted advertising. And no, our iPhone isn’t listening…
How do we know that our iPhone isn’t listening ? Might be a stupid question but I’m asking you, are we certain that it does not ? Have you looked into the code to make such a statement ?
This is a genuine question, I understand both sides but it seems there is no evidence for what people claim
 

bevsb2

Contributor
Nov 23, 2012
4,557
13,915
i've had my phone in the kitchen while talking to a friend in the dining room and been surprised to hear Siri attempt a response.
 

contacos

macrumors 601
Nov 11, 2020
4,914
18,941
Mexico City living in Berlin
It’s already enough if your friend is nearby. If you both have Instagram for example, it will cross reference your locations and that you are friends and may be like „if person A spent so much time at location y of person B, person A may also be interested in what Person B liked“.

That’s how „suggested friends“ also works btw. You both go to a wedding of person X, a month later you will suddenly get suggested people who also attended the wedding / were at those gps coordinates that day
 

smirking

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,781
3,763
Silicon Valley
How do we know that our iPhone isn’t listening ? Might be a stupid question but I’m asking you, are we certain that it does not ? Have you looked into the code to make such a statement ?
This is a genuine question, I understand both sides but it seems there is no evidence for what people claim

Let's consider if this makes any sense from an economic point of view. In order for targeted ads to eavesdrop on your conversation there would need to be a massive allocation of computing power dedicated to not only constantly process speech in real time, but also understand it.

Even if you believe it's economically feasible to ingest a 24/7 firehose of noise and turn it into understandable speech you'd still have to contend with AI's famously bad ability to understand context. The conclusions generated by a constantly on AI being asked to perform an open ended task wouldn't be revelatory. It'd be psychedelic. It has no idea what speech is and isn't relevant. It would be reacting to all sorts of things that are useless and would chew up a massive heap of server power all to come up with a jumbled mess.

At this point, it'd be far more reliable and cheaper to just rely on tried and true practices of click tracking and IP sniffing. Apple, Google, and others sure have promoted the fantasy that voice commands are magic that just works, but we're still pretty early in the human to computer interface game. This is way harder than people realize. Computers just don't understand how to human.
 

1rottenapple

macrumors 601
Apr 21, 2004
4,712
2,725
Happens to me all the time. An oral conversation with a friend and then boom! Ads all over for what we were talking about. There can be no other connection other than audio eavesdropping of some sort.
Honestly this happens a lot to us. I can’t explain it. It’s happened multiple time. I wish there was some attention paid to this.
 
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jaytv111

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2007
999
817
How do we know that our iPhone isn’t listening ? Might be a stupid question but I’m asking you, are we certain that it does not ? Have you looked into the code to make such a statement ?
This is a genuine question, I understand both sides but it seems there is no evidence for what people claim
It certainly isn’t listening and giving any kind of freebie data to Meta. Apple doesn’t like Meta enough for that. Meta actually lost tons of revenue from iOS’s recent privacy additions. Sorry Meta, Apple’s just not that into you.

There really is no way to look into the code. Probably researchers could test some theories like “say a bunch of things and look for network traffic spikes”. If they found something then it’d be news story of the century. Suffice to say that hasn’t happened.
 

Mikeske

macrumors 6502
Jan 14, 2012
441
333
Washington
Then there is also the failures of targeted ads. I been watching on Youtube a while back and I am a retired 60+ male and suddenly I am getting ads for female monthly hygiene products. My wife is in the same age bracket as I am. The ads make absolutely no sense when maybe some Ex-Lax would be more of our speed.
 

Jefke Peeters

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 9, 2020
51
15
Belgium
Maybe another coincidence you can laugh with...
Happened 4 times...

Before this 14, I had an XsMax. Starting with iOS 14.8, I have a bigger battery drain in standby as before, but only when I'm at work. At work means: driving in a van from customer to customer to give service on household appliances.

Normally this Xs hold 2 days before I had to charge. Replaced the battery last year, no solution. Did a DFU restore and re-set my iCloud backup. Problem solved... for one week. At the end of the day, battery almost empty.
Suffered with Covid-19 infection in February last year. So I had to stay a week at home. I did more on this phone and again, two days standby time.
Conclusion: @home longer battery time, even when on 4G instead of wifi.

Some weeks later, working again, the same issue. Again a DFU restore, installed as a new phone and manually installed the apps. Again: for one week, then draining again.

Got bored with this and decided to buy the iPhone 14 pro max. The same: worked well for a week, had to charge every 3 days, now 1,5 day at work and battery empty.
Battery stats don't give "special" things.

Don't come up with things as bad reception when driving etc. It's not possible to having exactly every time after an update or DFU restore a better cellular reception when driving.
 
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