Many apps on your phone have the ability to listen to your private chats in the background and then serve you targeted ads, fortunately, there are ways to prevent this.
Many of us often find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of seeing an advert on social media for a specific product, shortly after we were speaking to friends or family about that very same product.
Even though social media companies like Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, and platforms like YouTube claim that they are not listening to your conversations through your iPhone or Android devices
you aren’t alone if you feel uneasy after seeing an ad for a new flavoured gin or that trip to Bali that you were just thinking of planning.
Their new research suggests that by using a clever technique known as ultrasonic cross-device tracking, companies are able to monitor our data through microphones.
Through this technology, our phones can often pick up conversations happening in the background, and companies then use this data to send us personalised information.
NordVPN warned that this cross-device tracking method involves apps using ultrasonic “audio beacons” which are sounds that can’t be heard by the human ear.
In a blog post they explained: “For example, you may be watching TV when an ad for toothpaste comes on. Without you knowing, the TV ad contains embedded ultrasonic beacons. While the ad plays, your phone’s microphone listens to the beacons (if it has the right permissions).
“You pick up the phone, go on social media, and see the same ad you’ve just seen on TV. Coincidence? No, just highly advanced and elaborate marketing.”