Email Facebook denies spying on conversations to better target advertisements

29th oct 2017

Facebook’s vice-president of advertising, Rob Goldman, has denied claims the social media network uses microphones on users’ devices to eavesdrop on conversations so it can better target advertisements.

“I run ads product at Facebook. We don’t — and have never — used your microphone for ads,” Mr Goldman said.

“Just not true.”

He was responding to a tweet by internet podcast Reply All’s host PJ Vogt asking for people’s stories if they “believe that Facebook [or Instagram] uses your mic to spy on you for ad reasons”.

The post attracted hundreds of responses, with people claiming it had happened to them.

But others rejected the idea that people’s in-person conversations were to blame for related ads showing up.

“Couldn’t it also be that you are in the demographic who would be interested?” Twitter user George Peterson posted.

Facebook corporate communications director Adam Isserlis also posted in the thread, linking to a 2016 statement.

“Facebook does not use your phone’s microphone to inform ads or to change what you see in News Feed,” it said.





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