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  • You are having a coffee with a close friend and bring up how you need a new bathing suit, then BAM, all of a sudden there are ads on your phone for bathing suits.

  • Our smartphones are with us at all times, but are companies and governments using them to spy on us?

  • You may be suspicious for a good reason.

  • A New York Times piece uncovered that thousands of apps, including gaming apps for kids are equipped with the software Alfonso.

  • Alfonso uses your smartphone microphone to listen to the ads that you are watching on TV.

  • It uses audio signals to collect TV viewing data in order for advertisers to personally promote things to you online.

  • Alfonso "claims" to not record human speech.

  • Facebook has created a device called Pixel, which is designed as a way to continue tracking you online even after you've left a website.

  • By dropping a small piece of data called a cookie, your device will now remember information, like how long you linger on a certain item, and whether you added anything to your shopping cart, but didn't purchase it.

  • Millions of websites use Facebook Pixel, which is why the hat you didn't end up buying follows you around Facebook forever

  • But sites like Facebook even follow you offline and have been known to purchase information and create a database of over

  • 52,000 different attributes about you, for example, Facebook buys data from supermarket loyalty programs.

  • So if you have a points card with a grocery storeFacebook may be paying to understand your purchasing patterns

  • Potentially learning about what you eat or even what type of toothpaste you use.

  • So, your phone can listen to you, but it can also follow you as well.

  • Every time you receive a text or use data to load an app,

  • companies can log and retain your location based on the cell tower and cellular antenna you connect it to.

  • The precision of location has increased over time and get paint a detailed picture of where you go.

  • So, your phone may start sending you ads for swimsuits because you were just physically in or near a surf shop.

  • These companies will claim they aren't doing anything you haven't agreed to as you have accepted the privacy policy that allows the collection of your information.

  • And did you read the fine print?

  • Probably not.

  • A study presented 543 participants with a fake app called Name Drop to see how many would read the privacy policy and terms of service.

  • 74% skipped reading the agreement all together, and those who did read it didn't do a great job.

  • 98% percent of participants missed the gotcha clauses, which included sharing all your data with the NSA, your employer, and agreeing to provide your firstborn child as payment

  • And what about the rise of smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Alexa?

  • Which are designed to listen to you at all times.

  • Though, they are supposed to only record your voice when giving prompts like "Ok, Google"

  • Recently a couple found that Amazon's Alexa recorded a private conversation and then randomly sent it to a friend

  • These are deemed unfortunate glitches.

  • But what if someone gained access to them as Wi-Fi networks and mobile internet devices are easier to hack than you might think?

  • Your typical wireless internet information is kept confidential

  • by being converted from a readable state to nonsense at the access point and then converted back to a readable state when you use the

  • correct Wi-Fi password from your computer.

  • When Internet moved from physically wired networks to wireless technology it became easier to hack and less secure because the encryption

  • schemes are relatively simple.

  • For example,

  • Your webcam can be hacked by creating a remote access tool which is the digital equivalent of someone adding an unlocked window to your home without you even noticing.

  • Also, the FBI Agent meme isn't far from the truth, as the FBI is known to use phishing, which is slipping a link into a message

  • that is labeled in a misleading way... when you hit the link your device connects to the FBI's computer

  • downloading malware, which is then able to covertly spy on you.

  • Long story short, your phone is capable of listening to you, following you, and even watching you.

  • If online security and privacy is important to you, make sure you check out today's sponsor of our video Nord VPN, who is offering you

  • 77% off of a three-year plan.

  • If you use the promo code "asapscience" or go to NordVPN.com/asapscience VPNs or virtual private networks, encrypt your Internet traffic and mask your identity online so people can't see where you're searching or get access to your private information.

  • NordVPN is the world's most advanced VPN service using military-grade encryption.

  • They also offer a super-fast experience with almost no impact on speed while using it.

  • It has features like an automatic kill switch, browser proxy extension, ad blocking, and many more.

  • NordVPN even passes the Great Firewall of China and works in the Middle East where not all VPNs work

  • With 4300 servers and counting, in 62 countries,

  • They're constantly growing and expanding, which separates them from other providers.

  • On top of all this, you can use it on six devices simultaneously

  • like your phone, your computer, your tablet, so that you're protecting your information at all times, including if you're on public Wi-Fi.

  • Again, you can use the promo code 'asapscience' or head to NordVPN.com/asapscience

  • to get 77 percent off of a three-year plan and start protecting your privacy online.

  • Thanks so much for watching and we'll see you next Thursday for a new science video.

  • Peace.

You are having a coffee with a close friend and bring up how you need a new bathing suit, then BAM, all of a sudden there are ads on your phone for bathing suits.

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Is Your Phone Listening To You?

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    Samuel posted on 2018/06/12
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