Facebook says it won’t use software that can eavesdrop through your phone mic
The technology is designed to monitor what people watch on their “broadcasting device” so that the adverts they are shown on Facebook .tech Updated: Jul 02, 2018 15:50 IST
Facebook has refuted concerns around its new patent for software that could turn the mics of smartphones. The social networking giant said that the technology hasn’t been included in any of Facebook’s products and is meant for different purpose altogether.
The patent had been filed “to prevent aggression from other companies,” Facebook Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Allen Lo told Engadget. He added that the technology “never will be” integrated into any of the Facebook products.
Earlier, various media reports claimed that Facebook’s new software consisted of a system which let it quietly tell people’s smartphones to capture “ambient audio”.
The technology is designed to monitor what people watch on their “broadcasting device” so that the adverts they are shown on Facebook are likely to appeal to them, and give companies an accurate sense of the size of the audience which has viewed their promotion.
The invasive nature of the technology raised eyebrows for its potential to violate privacy. It is worth noting that the Facebook eavesdropping through users’ phone microphones to serve ads is one of the widely-held conspiracy theories. The company, however, has categorically denied using such tool.
Earlier this year, US Congress even asked CEO Mark Zuckerberg if Facebook gathered user data via microphone audio. Zuckerberg simply responded, “No.”
“You’re talking about this conspiracy theory that gets passed around, that we listen to what’s going on on your microphone and we use that for ads. We don’t do that,” he added.
If you’re still apprehensive about giving Facebook access to your phone’s microphone, here’s how you can disable it.
Launch “Settings” on your Android Phone.
Choose “Apps” (or the section that shows all the applications)
Select “Microphone” and disable it.
Find Facebook, and turn the slider to OFF.
You can repeat the same process for any other application.
(with inputs from IANS)
First Published: Jul 02, 2018 15:13 IST