A news report by a Florida television station that claimed Facebook is evesdropping on our conversations, has been debunked.
The report from WFLA showed a communications expert demonstrating how the social network listens to conversations through our microphones without our knowledge, then sending advertisements based on what it heard.
Dr. Kelli Burns, an associate professor in the School of Mass Communications at the University of South Florida, took to her blog Monday to explain what happened in the news report and clarified she does not believe Facebook listens in the background.
We performed the same type of test shown in the news report by talking about a Florida vacation. We spoke of a vacation with our phone locked then again with Facebook open. We even tried it by asking Siri to find us rental property in Florida.
We checked Facebook 24 hours later but did not see any advertisements or posts related to a beach vacation.
The news report has surfaced on websites and news sites around the world, but it isn’t true.
Facebook responded to the story in its own blog re-iterating it doesn’t listen through the microphone unless the user asks it to identify a song or tv show playing, OR is recording video.
If this still bothers you, the microphone can be turned off by going to Setting>privacy>microphone and uncheck Facebook.
Android users go to settings>privacy and emergency>app permissions then edit which apps have access to your microphone.