My Pixel phone is spying on me.

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18

I never believed anyone who would post something similar, until I started noticing a pattern of disturbing behavior from my phone. 

YESTERDAY 3/26

1. 9am – a colleague and I were discussing Blockchain. Two hours later this shows up. https://i.imgur.com/bmQeq5r.png

2. 12pm – during lunch I had conversations with other coworkers about the Dark Web. Later in the afternoon I see this – https://i.imgur.com/MDyomxx.png

TODAY 3/27

1. 9am – on a conference call at work I spent 10 minutes discussing multi factor authentication options for the mobile app we’re rolling out. Around 10am this shows up https://i.imgur.com/b0gblDz.png

I’m not paranoid, and I never searched for any of these topics, not on my phone, not on ANY device. Check for yourself. It’s happening. And it’s got to stop. I’m tired of this. 

Comments (19)

19 responses to “My Pixel phone is spying on me.”

  1. Avatar

    lvthunder

    Well you did buy a phone from a company that gets over 90% of their money from advertising.

  2. Avatar

    techguy33

    In Android open your app permissions. Does the "Google" app really need microphone access? I turned off mic permissions for all apps but Camera (in case I record video). Means I removed mic permission for 6+ apps, including Google.

  3. Avatar

    evox81

    I'm not seeing it. These aren't really advertisements, so even if we assume Google does listen to us, there's no incentive for bringing these articles to the middle of your feed from what I can see. From the other articles in your feed, you clearly follow technology... These are articles I would expect to see if I followed tech news.


    When I search Thurrott.com, I count 27 articles about two factor authentication. If you had that conversation and came here and saw an article about 2FA you wouldn't assume Paul was listening to you.


    But to better safe than sorry: There are documented cases of 3rd party apps, in particular their ad networks, actually spying on you. Take a glance through your app permissions and see if there's anything with permission to use your microphone that shouldn't (i.e. games don't typically need your microphone) and turn it off or uninstall it.

  4. Avatar

    waethorn

    EVERY smartphone spies on you. "Smart" = "spy" in tech terms. "Smart" homes? They're full of this kind of tech.

  5. Avatar

    lvthunder

    No wonder the batteries on our phones don't last as long as they used to.

  6. Avatar

    AnOldAmigaUser

    Welcome to the brave new world of Surveillance Capitalism.

    Google is just the best at it, but soon, your appliances, automobiles and surroundings will all be ratting you out in the name of targeted advertising and not yet dreamed about ways to make money. On a non Pixel phone, Google is not even the only one tracking you out of the box.

  7. Avatar

    Tony Barrett

    Get used to it. Amazon do it, Facebook definitely do it, and MS almost certainly do it to, and Apple are almost certainly following suit as they move more into services, where they'll be using it more and more. Everything you type and say or post, download, apps you install, links you click - it's all recorded, logged and added to your personal profile. You want those 'services' for free? This is the cost. If you don't like it, buy a feature phone.

    • Avatar

      lvthunder

      In reply to ghostrider:

      Actually I bet Apple doesn't do this. It's also probably why most of Apple's services cost $9.99 a month.

      • Avatar

        jedwards87

        In reply to lvthunder:

        I agree. Apple seems to be doubling down on privacy and I love it. Google is an ad company so I understand what they do is how they make money I just do not want to be a part of it if I can help it. Apple users are Apple's customers where Google users are their product so to speak. I have no issues paying for Apple services because I trust my data is not be sucked to make money from. Now I do not get quite the level of service I would if I feed the Google machine but I am ok with that. However, Apple is getting better at AI and services faster than Google is getting better at hardware.

  8. Avatar

    StevenLayton

    I'm hoping you didn't submit this thread via your phone. They'll know you're on to them ;)

  9. Avatar

    christian.hvid

    Apparently the same surveillance tech as in Google Home. And to think that people worry about Huawei...

  10. Avatar

    Bats

    Hire a lawyer and sue Google.


    Start something.

  11. Avatar

    minke

    Check your Google account under My Activity>Voice and Audio and you can see all the stuff they are recording. It is hard to imagine they aren't using that information for targeting you. That's one thing I find frustrating about this supposed "personalization." I am currently in the process of trying to dismiss every ad and article about crypto currency that inundates my news feed, Twitter, etc. I must have at some point read an article on Bitcoin and now I can't escape from ads and articles from scammy sources. During the last election for some reason the AI decided I wanted to read mostly rightwing nonsense garbage, even though I am the opposite politically. I suspect that is because my demographic leans rightwing. For some reason clothing company spam emailers have decided I'm a young woman and I get emails for stuff I would only be able to purchase if I lost 40 pounds and had a sex change operation. I'm guessing it's because I occasionally order presents for my daughter. Hey, Google, your AI is pretty dumb!

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