Web & Social


Facebook spied on me through my smartphone mic and served me and ad


Yesterday, my sister and I were having a conversation and both of our phones had their screens off and were in the room. My sister asked me about potentially leasing a car, and I mentioned maybe leasing a Honda Civic. I have not researched or even thought about Honda Civics in over ten years. I have had zero internet searches for anything related to cars in years. 5 minutes later, I open the Facebook app and I see an ad for leasing a Honda Civic. The ONLY way Facebook could have served that ad was by listening to our conversation while our phones had their screens turned off. This is outrageous. My mind is blown. I Googled around for similar stories and there are lots of anecdotes about this exact thing happening, but it has not broken through to be covered by any large media organization. This is a HUGE story and it seems like The Verge should try to replicate this behavior in a controlled test.