Are Penn and Teller doing magic on MS Teams?

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I witnessed an odd trick today. Two PC’s walk into a bar… okay not really. Two PCs are on the same ISP connection pipe… but different paths to the internet.

PC one (we will call Penn) is a dedicated, very locked down machine used only to connect to a private network over a private VPN with industry-standard specs.

Teller is just a basic windows 10 pro machine for basic web browsing. Both Penn and Teller have gotten all their shots and are up to date on the latest updates and vaccines and whatnot. Nothing to see here… standard PCs no suspicious added software or even access to social networks.

On Penn I was having a MS Teams conversation with another individual, no teams access on Teller. However, I mentioned “Penn and Teller” in a single chat on MS Teams instance from the Penn machine.

Note: Before you blame Alexa and the Android phone that is in the room with these PCs… no audible conversation about Penn and Teller for either device to listen in on was had.

Teller had a session of Youtube (that was not logged into youtube) that was open looking at home repair videos. After a refreshed search on Teller for a video completely unrelated to the topic of Penn and Teller… I suddenly had a suggested video for “Penn and Teller.” I’ve never searched or at least not in the last 3 months on the topic of magic or illusions …and only a single video showed up for “Penn and Teller.”

The two devices are not sharing apps, and are only on the same ISP connection… with the “Penn and Teller” keywords being passed out over MS Teams via the VPN connection. In theory there is no way for the two to be sharing data… unless MS Teams is sharing data but even the originating IP would be different from YouTube… and even then the traffic would have been crossing paths on the backend from different starting points.

So how did Teller (windows 10 machine never joined to the VPN network of Penn)… know that “Penn and Teller” was mentioned on Penn (private locked down VPN connected machine) in the MS Team chat? And then make it to the other machine within 5 minutes as a suggested video?

I’m always fascinated by this type of tracking magic… but this time… I can’t figure out who is pulling off the data-sharing trick.

Comments (2)

2 responses to “Are Penn and Teller doing magic on MS Teams?”

  1. ronmcmahon

    Perhaps it's time to accept that all of your communications are known, both by governments and corporations and you are but a serf, maximally exploited while being promised otherwise. The collusion that makes this possible rewards government with knowledge and control while providing unimaginable financial rewards to those enabling corporations. If you believe otherwise, I welcome what evidence you can share, as all I have found has brought me to this unfortunate conclusion.

  2. timo47

    Do you use Google Chrome as your browser on these machines? And are you logged in with your Google account? The current version of MS Teams is based on Electron, which uses the Chromium engine. In theory Chromium should be free of all Google tracking, but you never know.

    Do you have MS Teams installed on other devices (Teller? and Android phone). While your conversation was held on Penn, the chat history will sync to other devices on which you have MS Teams installed. So the leak may not have necessarily happened from the Penn PC.

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