Big brother is listening - Page 2 - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #16 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by JeffTepper View Post
Have a listening device in your bedroom when you are having sex and see if you get unsolicited ads for Trojans or whips and chains
Or suicide prevention....."Oh GOD, I'm coming!"
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post #17 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by JeffTepper View Post
Have a listening device in your bedroom when you are having sex and see if you get unsolicited ads for Trojans or whips and chains
Now that would be an interesting test to try. But I never have a smart thing in the bedroom when I'm sleeping.
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post #18 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 74Rallye View Post
Your cell phone is listening too, even when it's in your pocket.
They were powered down and we had to leave them out of the briefing rooms when we went in to discuss
upcoming "war games"........ I specifically remember this from when I was involved with the S Korean one
..... the name of which shall remain nameless.
Batteries were even removed from mobile phones, if they could be physically removed.
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post #19 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 02:17 PM
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It's more than just TVs. Just about all appliances (refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, microwaves, etc.) are now internet aware, listen to what you say and report it back to their servers. Even Kohler is getting into the act with smart toilets. Not only will you never have to flush again but it will also be able to perform various preventative heath tests (urinalysis, stool analysis) but also things like pregnancy and fertility tests and provide the results to you and your healthcare provide. You can bet in time your heathcare insurance will be monitoring it too.
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post #20 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 02:48 PM
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Facebook and Google definitely listen for key words. Other apps probably do too. I wouldn't call it "listening" because nobody is, and there's no recording. Amazon Echo products do keep a log of commands that you say. Other smart home products and assistant AIs probably do too. Just don't ask Alexa how to get rid of the body, I guess.

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post #21 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 05:33 PM
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Yeah, they don't record your conversations... What are you worried about...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.4d3a66e60861

Anything you say can and will be used against you!

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post #22 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 06:05 PM
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If you read the article, the explanation is that they technically told Alexa to do that. I've definitely had Alexa screw up, I've seen my TV activate it. The TV has added things to my shopping list. They are constantly working to prevent things like this from happening.

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post #23 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 06:37 PM
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I wouldn't call it "listening" because nobody is, and there's no recording.
I hate to burst your bubble but the data collection is digitized and recorded. It isn't "listening" in the sense that a human ear on the other end of your conversation (without a FISA warrant) but odds are your data is being collected and stored whether it is for what you intended or not.
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post #24 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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post #25 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 07:54 PM
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I hate to burst your bubble but the data collection is digitized and recorded. It isn't "listening" in the sense that a human ear on the other end of your conversation (without a FISA warrant) but odds are your data is being collected and stored whether it is for what you intended or not.
If you say "I want to buy a blue jacket" all Facebook on your phone is going to hear is "buy" which is somewhat like a wake word that wouldn't be recorded and "blue jacket" which would be compared against available advertisements. Some of that may be recorded to strengthen the comprehension and linguistic capabilities of the software but it's not like there is a file with all your information that can ever be accessed by a human being. Smart home devices are a bit of a different story, it will record commands you use after the wake word, also mostly to strengthen it's comprehension. But it's not just recording your conversations.

I am sure some of you think Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon are pumping all conversations the NSA to be cataloged. You should get some network analysis software and see if your smart home devices are constantly active while people are talking. HINT: They aren't. But believe what you will. Personally, I think privacy is a bit illusory anyway. People pretend like they care about privacy and blur out their license plate on a craigslist ad but make ten other privacy blunders a day, if not more. If you're registered to vote, it is likely I could- with only your first and last name- find out where you live and what your phone number is. Think about that if you are worried that Alexa is listening to you talk to your wife about what's for dinner.
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post #26 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 10:39 PM
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So I have a little different take on this. I don't have a smart speaker, but I use many different devices that I know are gathering info on me. But I don't mind. I'm fine with Google knowing what music I listen to, food I like, and where I get my hair cut. Because of what they gather, I get ads for stuff I may actually want. All I need is the willpower to only buy what I need. In exchange, companies can save a bunch of money by only advertising to those who might be interested in their stuff. This allows these companies to save money, thus making it possible for them to offer me a deal I just can't refuse. This seems to be a win-win to me.

I guess my question to you is this: Of course "they" are collecting info about you, but why is that a problem? (However, I will not ever get a DNA test done, because I KNOW that my insurance company would love to find a reason not to cover stuff. 23 and me is way scarier IMO than any analytics Google is putting together about me)
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post #27 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 11:48 PM
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Perhaps the mark of The Beast is already inside our homes, our cars, or us. Hmmm...

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post #28 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 12:15 AM
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A lot of FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) in this thread. I'm a software engineer working on smart devices and smart phones.



Your phone isn't constantly listening to you. It would absolutely destroy the battery. Since Apple is closed source I can't exactly tell (other than having packet sniffed the traffic from their devices), but on Android you can read the Linux kernel yourself. It's modified to put the device to memory suspend mode (the CPU is literally unpowered) fairly quickly. You know how your phone lasts more than a day? That's because the CPU isn't running until you press a button to wake the screen (hardware interrupt request). Not to mention watching the packets flow from these devices only shows voice traffic to servers when the Google Now / Siri application is in the forefront. Otherwise you might get 8 hours of battery life, depending on the device.



Same thing goes with Google Home or Amazon Alexa devices even though they're plugged in. There's a keyword spotting process to wake the device and start sending the voice packets to their servers in order to figure out what you're saying. The microphone is picking up everything you're saying, yes. But the transmission isn't sent until that keyword matches something (a mathematical hash) the device is set to listen to. A company named esoftthings (out of France) does a lot of this engineering and it's fairly complex. Multiple keywords increases the complexity. Sending streams of voice data is not happening (currently..ahem) on these devices.


Now to why you're seeing ads for things you are talking about: your data is available to these companies, particularly Google, and they're really good at matching things you might be interested in. Scary good. Should-be-illegal good. The things you're getting as suggestions are based on a ridiculous amount of machine learning done over years and billions of people to know that you're likely to want to listen to some band. Or, in the case of Facebook, a particular news article (no matter how much truth is in it or how much it creates echo chambers) or personal post is likely to keep you on their platform. The longer you're on that page / in that app, the more money they can make off selling your data.


The average person is worth about $15 a month to Google. $13 to Facebook. They're good at justifying that cost. Your devices aren't listening to you. They just have enough data to show you what they think you want to see.


Personally, I don't have any "smart devices" in my house. And I never use voice commands because I don't like talking to a phone. I Ad block, pi hole (fantastic and highly recommended), use my smart phone less than most less-technically-inclined people. If you're really worried about all of this, then I suggest not logging into a Google account while browsing the internet, clearing cookies when you close your browser, check out DuckDuckGo.com instead of Google, disabling all Google tracking preferences on your smartphone...



I guess there's a reason I prefer to spend my free time in my garage. But Google already knows that.
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post #29 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 02:34 PM
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Good write up and very informative. Your post reminded me of the movie I.T. from 2016 with Pierce Brosnan where he has to go "low tech" in his late 60's mustang to get the computer tech I.T. guy villain. It's a '68 or '69 if I remember... I guess I could Google it...oh wait...never mind...
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post #30 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by myfirstcar66 View Post
Perhaps the mark of The Beast is already inside our homes, our cars, or us. Hmmm...
The Number of the Beast is in my home.

It's a great album
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Last edited by DrHawkeye; 03-27-2019 at 03:44 PM.
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