Its a devilish feature that hides in plain sight. A feature so flagrant and egregious in its abuses of privacy. A feature that is used to actively push advertisement content based on your daily conversations in the public, and private.
Im talking about ‘Access to Microphone’ permission requests whenever you install a social app. A request most apparent in Facebook-related suite of apps, which are Facebook app itself, Whatsapp, and Instagram.
People would just succumb to provide this permission without second thoughts. We would never have thought that these apps might record us while we are not using them.
Have you noticed that somehow Facebook cunningly push Ads about things that you have spoken just moments ago?
It happened so many times that I hate this will become a new normal in advertising. Brilliant? Yes. Creepy? Indeed.
I once mentioned in other FB post of a peculiar incident. I was dissing Trump (pretty verbose) and impact of his reckless tariff war, and to my surprise, ads for Harley-Davidson appeared soon in my social timelines. I have no interest in Harley, would never search for Harley, and had only spoken about Harley when I talked about Trump.
It happened again today. I was on the lookout for landed properties. I went to a property exhibition, and conversed with sales agents. Guess what? Advertisements on properties appeared on my timelines soon after. My Insta feed and FB feeds are now littered with property ads.
A couple of my close friends shared the same experience that I doubt this is a mere coincidence.
I already uninstalled FB app about a year ago, and relying only on its web app.
Next, I am disabling Microphone access to all FB-owned apps (Whatsapp, and Instagram). These apps will not be able to use the phone mic without my expressed permission and only when I need them.
If you are on iOS, go to Settings > Privacy > Microphone.
If you are on Android, go to Settings > Apps > (select each app) > turn off Microphone access.
Dont let this invasion of privacy become a new normal.