Facebook is the king of privacy invasion.
Every time you log on, Facebook asks you to kindly fill in more personal information.
Who is your favorite athlete? Where do you work? What’s your favorite type of food?
Facebook, of course, is not satisfied with that information and always wants more. That’s why the company recently updated its apps to listen to ambient background noise whenever you post a status update – seriously.
As if Facebook could get creepier, it now legitimately activates your microphone whenever you’re typing out a status update.
Facebook listens passively. It only explicitly alerts you of its microphone usage during the Facebook app installation process. During this process, Facebook also requests permissions for nearly every other aspect of your mobile device, including folders, photos, media, contacts, calling, and much more.
“We’re respecting your privacy”
Facebook isn’t hiding the fact that it listens to your ambient noise. Instead, Facebook says that it does so while respecting your privacy.
You see, when Facebook listens to your microphone, it’s not recording your conversations. Instead, it’s listening to noises like Shazam and trying to identify what’s going on in your background.
If you’re listening to a Miranda Lambert song, for example, then Facebook will add Miranda Lambert to your list of preferred musicians. If you’re watching Survivor, then Facebook will add Survivor, etc.
If you want to do so, Facebook will also include this information in your status update. So if you try to post a status update that says “Going to the club with a bunch of hot friends”, Facebook may try to call your bluff and say “Sitting at home watching Lost on Netflix at 11:58pm on Friday night.” That’s nice.
There is a way to deactivate this feature from the settings menu. Presumably, when you check the ‘No’ box, Facebook will stop listening to you. But can you really trust that promise? I wouldn’t.
Anyways, I’m going to go uninstall my Facebook app now.