I'm beginning to think that this isn't a conspiracy.

iObama

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 16, 2008
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We've all heard it. "My iPhone is listening to me and serving me ads." We've all been suspicious that it has, and we've all snapped ourselves out of believing it.

I've been keeping a log, as it's been happening to me quite a bit with Twitter, where I'll be served ads (usually) two days after I have a conversation about something I've never spoken about before.

Today was by far the creepiest one.

The other day, my friend and I were driving under the Bay Bridge in Oakland. He started telling me about how they recently started using security robots to police the underside of the bridge and prevent trespassing. We talked about it for approximately two minutes or so, and about how robots will take over jobs like that in the near future.

Today, I was scrolling through Twitter. What ad did it serve me?

"Invest in the future of public safety with autonomous security robots!"

Creepy, right?
 
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rijc99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 27, 2015
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I'm not saying this applies to this instance but there are a lot of conspiracies that turn out to be true. IE. Yahoo scanning all emails for the NSA/FBI, NSA's Optic Nerve program, all the other monitoring programs and capabilities leaked by Snowden, secret US medical experiments, etc.
 
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BeeGood

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Sep 15, 2013
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I'm not saying this applies to this instance but there are a lot of conspiracies that turn out to be true. IE. Yahoo scanning all emails for the NSA/FBI, NSA's Optic Nerve program, all the other monitoring programs and capabilities leaked by Snowden, secret US medical experiments, etc.
It's definitely possible that Apple has used Siri'd "always listening" capability to collect data and serve up ads to us. But it's difficult to imagine Apple running that kind of reputation all risk in order to add to a revenue stream that isn't really all that important to them.
 

timeconsumer

macrumors 68000
Aug 1, 2008
1,773
1,477
Portland
We've all heard it. "My iPhone is listening to me and serving me ads." We've all been suspicious that it has, and we've all snapped ourselves out of believing it.

I've been keeping a log, as it's been happening to me quite a bit with Twitter, where I'll be served ads (usually) two days after I have a conversation about something I've never spoken about before.

Today was by far the creepiest one.

The other day, my friend and I were driving under the Bay Bridge in Oakland. He started telling me about how they recently started using security robots to police the underside of the bridge and prevent trespassing. We talked about it for approximately two minutes or so, and about how robots will take over jobs like that in the near future.

Today, I was scrolling through Twitter. What ad did it serve me?

"Invest in the future of public safety with autonomous security robots!"

Creepy, right?
Do you have Siri enabled? I don't have Siri enabled so I'm wondering if this would effect me.
 

sdwaltz

macrumors 6502a
Apr 29, 2015
745
997
Indiana
One time I made a comment to a friend about a John Deere tractor.

The next day I saw an ad for a John Deere tractor on Facebook. I didn't get on the internet looking for John Deere tractors or ANYTHING.

Not joking, not trolling, not poking fun. I'm dead serious.

It's the only time it's ever happened but it still haunts me to this day.
 

Booloo

macrumors regular
Mar 18, 2012
130
65
I've heard it from a few people. It's not as crazy as you may think. How many apps do you "allow access to microphone"? Instagram, Facebook, Google... if those apps are running it makes sense that key words picked up + location based ads is what's giving you these results.

It's not like anyone reads Terms and Conditions before using an app, and "Access to your microphone" is pretty vague.
 
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rijc99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 27, 2015
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Add AT&T's Project Hemisphere to the list of stuff we thought could never be taking place.

Privacy is dead.
 

iObama

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 16, 2008
691
768
I've heard it from a few people. It's not as crazy as you may think. How many apps do you "allow access to microphone"? Instagram, Facebook, Google... if those apps are running it makes sense that key words picked up + location based ads is what's giving you these results.

It's not like anyone reads Terms and Conditions before using an app, and "Access to your microphone" is pretty vague.
I try and limit microphone usage. I don't have Facebook on my phone anymore and I've blocked mic usage for Insta.

Honestly, I keep a list of this happening because it's happened so often to me. (For instance, last week I talked about how my hands were sweaty and two days later I was served an ad about how to stop sweaty hands.) But this was the most blatant. Autonomous. Security. Robots.

Incredibly specific.
[doublepost=1477607449][/doublepost]
Do you have Siri enabled? I don't have Siri enabled so I'm wondering if this would effect me.
I do have Siri enabled, including Hey Siri. This has happened to me before on phones that I didn't have Hey Siri enabled on, however.
[doublepost=1477607489][/doublepost]
It's definitely possible that Apple has used Siri'd "always listening" capability to collect data and serve up ads to us. But it's difficult to imagine Apple running that kind of reputation all risk in order to add to a revenue stream that isn't really all that important to them.
I don't know if it's Apple, per se. Facebook and Twitter seem to be incredibly flippant with privacy.
 
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willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
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Then again, it's also possible that this happens all the time, and we never notice. You only noticed this time because the conversation was fresh in your mind.

Ever bought a car and then suddenly noticed all the other cars just like yours? Same deal.

The cost/benefit for Apple in this regard would ever pan out. They have ZERO motivation to spy on their users.
 

Benz63amg

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Oct 17, 2010
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I'm pretty sure it's the "Hi Siri" feature that is the culprit as in order for Siri to turn on when you say "Hi Siri" it implies that the IPhone's microphone is constantly listening, Its just a fact. That's one of the things I turn of right away whenever I get a new iPhone, I keep Siri on but certainly turn off "Hi Siri", Apple may claim otherwise but I do believe that if you have Hi siri turned on then the IPhone might be collecting random detected microphone input hence why the weird coincidences people are expiriencing.
 
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iObama

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Original poster
Nov 16, 2008
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Then again, it's also possible that this happens all the time, and we never notice. You only noticed this time because the conversation was fresh in your mind.

Ever bought a car and then suddenly noticed all the other cars just like yours? Same deal.

The cost/benefit for Apple in this regard would ever pan out. They have ZERO motivation to spy on their users.
Correct, which is why I said I don't think it's Apple.

Facebook, Google, and Twitter have a hundred percent motivation to spy on their users.
 
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xaqt93

macrumors 6502
Jun 17, 2011
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I have definitly been nervous about this for a long time. I really feel like the iPhones listen to us to a point. I don't think they are keeping track of our conversations and I don't think that Apple is listening to us all the time, I think that everything is being done on the iPhone and the data is definitly encrypted. Hopefully.
 

Steve686

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Nov 13, 2007
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Our country would be much further ahead in the war on terror if it could simply listen in on any phone at any time.....
[doublepost=1477676838][/doublepost]And just for chits and giggles.

How about someone test out the theory by facetiously vowing to do harm to the CIC of the US?
 
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