[ExI] Home smart speakers could report crimes or violence

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Thu Dec 21 16:17:08 UTC 2023

On Thu, 21 Dec 2023 at 15:09, spike jones via extropy-chat
<extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> MB do you have a phone?  It is listening to your conversation even when you
> aren't using it apparently.
> Reason: I was on vacation on a road trip in Washington.  At a gas stop, I
> commented discussed wind turbines on the Columbia River with my sone and
> mentioned to my bride that the zipper was broken on my hoodie.  When I got
> to camp that night, my ad banners were filled with advertisements of hoodies
> and... wind turbine parts.
> The hoodie business might have been a coincidence.  But that is the only
> time ever I have received advertisements for wind turbine parts.
> I am open to alternative explanations for those ads.
> spike
> _______________________________________________

Hi Spike

I have just chatted to a few AIs and they all say that it is very
unlikely that smartphones are continually recording speech while they
are not in use.
This would drain the battery very quickly. It would also expose
companies to being sued or, in Europe, being banned under GDPR privacy

On the other hand, you might be surprised at how invasive Ad tracking
is. It is *really* complicated. So complicated that it is almost
impossible for users to know what is actually going on.
They probably know more about you than your bride does.  :)
The Ads probably knew you were on a holiday camping trip (hoodies) and
your location was near wind turbines. Maybe someone else in your party
searched for wind turbines on their device, so you all got turbine ads
while near there.
You need to check every app on all devices to see what permissions are allowed.

I have included some AI comments below.


1. Ad Targeting Techniques: Targeted ads on smartphones are typically
based on various data points and techniques, including:

   - User Profile: Advertisers collect information about users through
cookies, device identifiers, and other tracking mechanisms. This data
includes browsing history, search queries, app usage, location data,
demographics, and more. Advertisers analyze this information to create
user profiles and deliver personalized ads.

   - Contextual Targeting: Ads can be targeted based on the context of
the content being viewed. For example, if you're reading an article
about travel, you may see ads related to hotels or airlines.

   - Lookalike Audiences: Advertisers can build profiles of users who
have similar characteristics to their desired audience. By targeting
these "lookalike" audiences, they can reach users who may have similar
interests and behaviors to their existing customers.

   - Behavioral Targeting: Advertisers track user behavior over time
to understand their preferences and interests. This may involve
analyzing click patterns, app usage, interactions with ads, and other
online activities.

2. Ad Networks and Data Brokers: Advertisers often rely on ad networks
and data brokers to facilitate targeted advertising. These entities
aggregate and analyze data from various sources to create
comprehensive user profiles. Advertisers can then utilize these
profiles to deliver more relevant ads.

3. Permission-based Data Collection: To serve targeted ads
effectively, some apps may request permission to access certain data
on your smartphone, such as location, contacts, or browsing history.
It's important to review these permissions and consider the trade-off
between personalized ads and privacy.

4. Cross-Device Tracking: Advertisers use techniques to track user
activity across multiple devices, enabling them to create a more
holistic understanding of user behavior. This allows for targeted ads
to be delivered across smartphones, tablets, computers, and other
connected devices.

5. Privacy Settings and Controls: Smartphone operating systems provide
privacy settings that allow users to manage ad tracking and limit
personalized advertising. These settings often include options to
reset advertising identifiers, opt out of personalized ads, or
restrict ad tracking across apps.

6. Ad-blocking and Privacy-focused Apps: Users who are particularly
concerned about targeted ads can also utilize ad-blocking software or
privacy-focused apps that aim to limit data collection and tracking.

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