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Thread: Apple snooping?

  1. #1
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    Apple snooping?

    We noticed something quite scary yesterday. A colleagues iPhone 8 displaying an advert, based on things we had been discussing. In this scenario a certain brand of snack food had been discussed and then there was an advert displaying that very product.

    A coincidence?

    Well yes, if this was a one off, but this has happened several times. In no situation were the items being discussed looked for on the device; and yet adverts are being 'offered' promoting the very products being discussed...

    Has anyone else noticed this snoop/advert wear from apple devices?

    Makes me a tad paranoid just as to what information these phone makers (and voice-recognition software decoders) obtain and how it's used...

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    Admin Team peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Apple snooping?

    How was the ad displayed? In a browser or an app? If it was a third party app, it might be worth reporting it to Apple.

    It’s not something I have noticed on any Apple device - the only ads I see (and ignore) are on web pages and a couple of free games.
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    Admin Saracen's Avatar
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    Re: Apple snooping?

    Not being an iPhone user I have no idea what they do, or if they do it.

    There certainly has been plenty of anecdoral evidence of this type of snooping occurring in various formats and technologies, and it sure wouldn't surprise me. It's a large part of why, personally, I have no interest at all in Echo/Dot type devices. Not that I'm asserting they do do that, but merely that it is inherent in the basic technology in order to do what it's designed to do, that they, or possibly hackers could do that. The only way to be sure to not be exposed to it is to not use the tech.

    In the case of smartphones, of course, that is only one of a variety of potential security and/or privacy issues and my personal assessment of risk/benefit comes down firmly in favour of avouding the risk, and foregoing the evident benefits. I suspect that puts me in a minority, especially on here, but .... okay. So be it.
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    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Re: Apple snooping?

    Often this is just people seeing jesus on toast.

    They've been discussing the branding because they've been noticing a campaign but not conscious of it, then by just talking about it, you notice the adverts more.
    throw new ArgumentException (String, String, Exception)

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    Admin Saracen's Avatar
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    Re: Apple snooping?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnimus View Post
    Often this is just people seeing jesus on toast.

    They've been discussing the branding because they've been noticing a campaign but not conscious of it, then by just talking about it, you notice the adverts more.
    Perhaps .... but are you paranoid if they really are oyt to get you?
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    Admin Saracen's Avatar
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    Re: Apple snooping?

    Put it tuis way, Animus .... do we know, for certain, that this isn't happening, hasn't and/or won't happen? I sure don't.

    So do we trust the oil industry to be open, honest and act in our interests? Big tobacco? Big pharm? Banks? Government?

    No, nor me.

    Even Big Auto .... diesel scandal.

    So why would we think big tech and/or big data are any better? If they believe that, first, they can do it, and second, they can get away with it, then I think they absolutely will do it.
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    Re: Apple snooping?

    I remain skeptical.
    Of late and on more than one occasion, my browsers and also emails have featured shopping ads for things that were recently mentioned, only in passing during conversations.

    Now the only two constants in all these incidents have been:
    a) My phone (Samsung Galaxy S5 Neo running Andy 5.1.1) in my pocket.
    b) The conversations have all been with my mate Dave.

    Dave is basically Saracen, when it comes to technology and the possibility of being spied upon. His devices have all been far away (as much as 48 miles, sometimes), switched off, inside locked briefcases.
    Also, the conversations have mentioned products that, while they are household things I suppose, I rarely even encounter them around or in shops, as I'd never buy such things and/or wouldn't even go down the aisles that stock them.

    This is how I know it's those specific conversations, as they just don't feature in my life any other time. Most of the time I haven't even been at home during these conversations either.

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    Senior Member Smudger's Avatar
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    Re: Apple snooping?

    You need to discuss something that you would never usually discuss and that's pretty obscure, ie Suffolk Punch lawnmowers, then see if you get adverts for them.

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    Re: Apple snooping?

    Looks like it's '3rd party apps' but snapchat, facebook, etc. things said/discussed come up with remarkable frequency/obscurity.. !

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    Re: Apple snooping?

    My understanding of this is Apple have more restriction for 3rd party apps access to user data which is stored locally on the phone than Android, which is why in September (when the new iphones are out) I will be switching from Android to apple for privacy reasons.

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    Admin Saracen's Avatar
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    Re: Apple snooping?

    Quote Originally Posted by rob4001 View Post
    My understanding of this is Apple have more restriction for 3rd party apps access to user data which is stored locally on the phone than Android, which is why in September (when the new iphones are out) I will be switching from Android to apple for privacy reasons.
    Agree with that, but "more restrictions" is still open to "some abuse".

    As far as I'm concerned, and with an acknowledgement that I'm an exception not the rule, I'd want some very specific assurances before trusting either Apple or Android (* note) including but not limited to me having direct control over a modular permissions system which cannot be overridden by app developers or Apple/Android under any circumstsnces.

    So if I disable access to, oh, GPS data, contact lists, camera, microphone, stored photos, or whatever, it stays denied, until such time as I allow it .... which for most apps will be never.

    Oh, and those "specific assurances I'd want? No, I don't expect them ever to be forthcoming.


    (*) I don't have a smartphone, but do have an Android tablet. However, camera permission is "denied" by tape stuck over them, mic permission denied by a strategically located blob of superglue, and access to personal dsta denied by never EVER putting any on it in the first place. Not even an email.

    It restricts functionality a lot, but locks down privacy suffjciently for my needs.
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