Phone listening in to you revisted

A while ago someone in here mentioned how they got adverts popping up of things that were very specific but they had only talked about and not googled or received/sent emails about. Since then I have noticed this happening to me and I can only come up with 2 explanations both as worrying as each other - my mobile listening to me or the big companies cross referencing my entire internet presence including mutually exclusive accounts and friends information. - Example my boss has been off with having a specific operation, she has not emailed us with the details only verbally mentioned the exact nature of it. (There is a very small possibility it is mentioned on an email chain on my work email somewhere). I got an advert for the exact operation at a private hospital on my personal phone about 2 hours after she mentioned it

Possibly your boss is a Google robot?

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Might try this. Gonna spend the next few hours muttering CUTE WEE DOGGOS to myself


Generating conversation with you that it can then sell to advertisers. It all makes sense.

My boss is @discobot the operation was actually a change of oil. How cud you discobot!

Hi! To find out what I can do, say @discobot display help.

Happened to me a while back. We were staying with a friend of mine, and he was listening to a show on Mixcloud and talking about it. Later that day I was getting Instagram ads for that channel.

One explanation I read was that advertisers pick up on ip addresses though. So while I hadn’t searched for it on my phone, he would have and because I was using his wireless I was getting ads relevant to him. That might explain about your boss’s operation - he might have googled it at work, and because you’re sharing an IP you get the ad as well.

That is possible as I did use the guest wifi quite recently but there are about 200 or so ppl and I cant imagine them all getting the advert?

Well, exactly - it’s probably a line trotted out by the tech companies that may be plausible enough on the surface but as soon as you look a bit closer…

So far as anyone can tell, it’s not your phone picking up on key words and associating them with you.

Mostly it’s one of two things:

One: Rampant data collection and implied likelihood that an advert is relevant to you based on that data.

For example, Facebook and Twitter ask you to upload your address book so they can find your friends. This means that those friends are linked to you, along with their status/preferences. Got a lot of £50k+ earning friends in your phonebook? Facebook’s going to guess you’re probably in the same bracket. Got a few friends going to Greece on holiday? Twitter’s going to start showing you similar adverts for those holidays.

But it goes further than that. Connect to work’s wi-fi? The network’s are going to assume you work there and start determining what level of decision-making you have so they can target business-related ads to you.

Downloaded a pregnancy app? Facebook will find out and start serving related ads to you within twelve hours

It’s not difficult to imagine that if someone in your network - potentially just someone in your phonebook, not necessarily connected to you on social media - is going through some heavy medical stuff, the networks will run some probability calculations on you and judge you to be at risk to some extent too.

Two: It’s a case of Baader-Meinhof and it’s totally coincidence.

Or, of course, it’s a combination of the two.


Yup exactly. YOU don’t need to demonstrate an interest in something for it to be advertised to you. Someone that’s linked to you showing an interest can be enough.

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The link is very tenuous in my example as I don’t have twitter and am not friends with my boss on FB. I understand the possible explanations but it worrying that they can correlate that much info

Perhaps your boss was so happy with the operation that she recommended all her staff as friends.

  • my phone listens to me
  • does it fuck

0 voters

Yeah mine absolutely reads my WhatsApp or something I went for a run and complained to my wife about MEGACHAFFE and then I got targeted ads for special shorts. FO,M

I can say, without a shadow of a doubt that this has happened to me many times. Was at an airport last year and when I go on holiday I like to read about things that wouldn’t normally interest me; So was talking to my friend about what magazine to get and I said “car magazine” out loud probably like 3 or 4 times, decided to buy it and paid using cash. About 10 minutes later open and refresh instagram and the first ad that came up was an ad for a car magazine. You can see it didn’t have that many likes so it was clearly targeted very specifically for me, and keep in mind I never normally buy magazines and never search or read about cars. Spooky stuff man.

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You don’t need to be connected to your boss on Facebook. If you have her phone number on your phone, or you’ve connected to work’s wifi, or you have locations enabled on your phone and you work in the same building, or have talked to them through WhatsApp, or anything even vaguely similar, there’s enough of a link for ads to be directed to you.


no chance its understanding my accent/mumbling.

“Siri, can you hear what I’m saying?”

I have her number but only txt to say im ill or late. So it is a very week link but I see what your saying.