Simon Law Firm - January 2020

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January 2020

Turning Off the Listening Capabilities on Your Phone Privacy Problems

It is generally accepted that Siri, Google, and Alexa are all passively listening to everything we say and do. They wake up and answer your questions when you summon them, but for years, these companies claimed they ignored all the other data these devices were collecting.

appear that same day on your social media pages and the websites you frequent.

These are benign uses, but this is a very unnecessary and personal invasion to me. So, as part of my New Year’s resolution, I decided to turn the microphone feature off on my phone. You can, too! Here’s how. Apple Go into your settings, then privacy, and select “microphone.” Then uncheck anything you don't want listening to you. (Sidebar: Why does Facebook have permission by default? That’s scary.) Next, head to the Siri option. There, you should search and delete your dictation history, which is being sold to advertisers who can push ads to you while you surf the web. These are typically seen as banner advertisements. If you want Siri to stop listening, switch off "listen for" and activate "press side button." The side button on the right must now be pressed to turn it on. Androids Go to your settings and tap the general tab. Under “personal,” search for “language and input.” Find "Google voice typing,” and tap the settings button, which will look like a large cog. Tap "Ok, Google” detection. Under the "From the Google app” option, move the slider to the left. Technology is a marvel that helps society in many ways, but it should not be used as a tool to invade your personal privacy. I would encourage you to reclaim yours by checking the settings on your phone.

This cannot be true.

Research has shown that Facebook is using the microphone feature to gather conversation topics and sell it to advertisers who can post ads that are relevant to the conversation. Test it yourself by repeating a phrase about a vacation or new phone component — you could really talk about anything — and watch the applicable advertisements

Happy New Year!

–Christopher Simon

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