VERIFY: Does your phone listen to you when you aren't paying attention?

KREM 2's Whitney Ward verifys if your cell phone is spying on you even when you aren't using it.

SPOKANE, Wash --- We verify the question, is your phone listening to you even when you aren’t talking to it?

IPhones have Siri and Androids have Google Assistant to help with voice commands, and they are supposed to help us use our phones. But are they listening to us when we don’t think they are? KREM checked with several sources to find out. There is Michael Garfield, a nationally recognized tech blogger; Dr. Chris Bronk, a professor of Information Systems at the University of Houston; the Federal Trade Commission and Facebook.

Most people take their phones everywhere with them, and what exactly is the phone hearing? The simple answer is that your phone was designed to listen to you. But when Google invented this listening technology, they stated in their policy that its systems are not listening until you say a command or press a button to activate any audio recording.

Facebook also said it does not use phone microphones for ads or newsfeed stories. There have been several hacks with microphones but it is false that legitimate companies are listening to your conversations.

The catch is that certain apps could be listening to your conversations. The FTC has warned app developers that they have to let you know if your phone could be listening in. They warned this is why you must read the fine print before you download anything. Because with the permissions you could be allowing these apps access to your browsing history, where you go in real life, and what you’re buying without even realizing it.

And you can still revoke access to your phone’s mic and camera for specific apps.

More helpful hints and tips here http://on.krem.com/2qHXuot

© 2017 KREM-TV


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