Have you ever noticed how very specific the advertisements are when you scroll your Facebook home page? It is no secret that the things you search in Google will be shared with companies to focus their ads on the people who actually use their products. Same with the websites that you frequently visit, the advertisements will match what you are interested in. For the most part, this is not a big deal, in fact, it can be kind of convenient. However, this specialized research may be getting a bit creepier.
Let’s say that you are not an active person. You have never been to a gym, never looked up any physical activity on your devices but, suddenly you start talking to your partner about going to the gym. The next thing you know you will start seeing advertisements for gyms near you, or diet pills, and you may think it is serendipitous but, it’s not.
At least one company has been introduced that’s purpose is to collect information through your microphone and collect data for advertisers. Alphonso is a start-up company that gains access to your phone through software that you have downloaded from an app store. While Alphonso claims that they collect data strictly for television advertisers, it is not to say that many companies just like them could be listening to your private conversations.
In the case of Alphonso, apps and games that carry the spy software will list in their description as “Alphonso automated”. However, that is just the one program we are aware of right now.