Always Listening

 

I rarely use Siri on my phone – mostly to place a call via Bluetooth while driving (I have the Australian woman voice).  A few weeks ago I listened to a podcast that was a long interview with Gina Carano. She was kidding with the podcast hosts about being able to take a punch pretty well because of her fighting career.  When I got home I was telling my wife about it (she was laughing) and suddenly Siri said “calling domestic abuse hotline”.  I immediately cancelled the call, staring at the phone, wondering if someone would call my local 911 reporting the hang up (apparently they didn’t).  After we laughed about it I said “Siri, don’t listen to my conversations”, and my iPad (about 15 feet away) said “OK”.

That’s actually pretty scary stuff.  Phone and iPad were listening and decided all by itself that someone needed some very unwelcome help

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  1. EODmom Coolidge
    EODmom
    @EODmom

    Turn it off. On every device. You invited it in your house when you left it on any one of them. 

    • #1
  2. Globalitarian Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    And do you really think Siri doesn’t lie?  If it’s AI you know it does.

    • #2
  3. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    EODmom (View Comment):

    Turn it off. On every device. You invited it in your house when you left it on any one of them.

    I wonder if “turning it off” really only turns off the circuit that makes her talk out loud to you. I don’t know any way to be absolutely sure that it is not continuously listening and reporting to someone.

     

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Those voices are creepy. I don’t use them.

    • #4
  5. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    I have SIRI turned off on my iPhone and we don’t have Alexa or any other “smart” device in our home.

    Tex929rr: I have the Australian woman voice

    Same here, except on my Garmin.  I call her Sheila . . .

    • #5
  6. DrewInWisconsin, Œuf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Œuf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    I’ve frequently noticed that talking about a particular subject near a phone or pad typically results in ads popping related to that subject the next time you go online.

    I used to think it was just a freaky coincidence, but when it kept happening — and when the ads were so strangely specific to the conversation — yeah, they’re listening all the time.

     

    • #6
  7. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    DrewInWisconsin, Œuf (View Comment):

    I’ve frequently noticed that talking about a particular subject near a phone or pad typically results in ads popping related to that subject the next time you go online.

    I used to think it was just a freaky coincidence, but when it kept happening — and when the ads were so strangely specific to the conversation — yeah, they’re listening all the time.

    I use the Brave browser on my computer and my phone.  I get almost zero ads.

    I remember one Christmas I bought my youngest daughter a fancy purse.  For the next few weeks, all my custom-tailored ads were for women’s accessories.  I even got junk mail . . .

    Update:  I should point out this happened before I got the Brave browser . . .

    • #7
  8. Comfortably Superannuated Member
    Comfortably Superannuated
    @OldDanRhody

    The Scarecrow (View Comment):

    EODmom (View Comment):

    Turn it off. On every device. You invited it in your house when you left it on any one of them.

    I wonder if “turning it off” really only turns off the circuit that makes her talk out loud to you. I don’t know any way to be absolutely sure that it is not continuously listening and reporting to someone.

    Bears repeating.

    • #8
  9. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    DrewInWisconsin, Œuf (View Comment):

    I’ve frequently noticed that talking about a particular subject near a phone or pad typically results in ads popping related to that subject the next time you go online.

    I used to think it was just a freaky coincidence, but when it kept happening — and when the ads were so strangely specific to the conversation — yeah, they’re listening all the time.

     

    If you look at the terms and conditions for installing Apps like Facebook, or many others, you give them the right to use the microphone on your device.  They really are listening.  It’s at the OS level anyway, so even if you never installed Facebook, or any other app, Google and Apple are still listening to everything around your phone when it is turned on.  Google uses that to feed you ads related to what it is hearing, via Apps that integrate with Google Ads which is fed by the OS.

    • #9
  10. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    Comfortably Superannuated (View Comment):

    The Scarecrow (View Comment):

    EODmom (View Comment):

    Turn it off. On every device. You invited it in your house when you left it on any one of them.

    I wonder if “turning it off” really only turns off the circuit that makes her talk out loud to you. I don’t know any way to be absolutely sure that it is not continuously listening and reporting to someone.

    Bears repeating.

    The only way to ensure that your phone or tablet isn’t listening to you is to have it totally turned off.  Not on standby, but shut down.  Alternately, you could not accept the terms and conditions of the OS…but then the OS won’t install.

    • #10
  11. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Tex929rr:

    I rarely use Siri in my phone – mostly to place a call via Bluetooth while driving (I have the Australian woman voice). A few weeks ago I listened to a podcast that was a long interview with Gina Carano. She was kidding with the podcast hosts about being able to take a punch pretty well because of her fighting career. When I got home I was telling my wife about it (she was laughing) and suddenly Siri said “calling domestic abuse hotline”. I immediately cancelled the call, staring at the phone, wondering if someone would call my local 911 reporting the hang up (apparently they didn’t). After we laughed about it I said “Siri, don’t listen to my conversations”, and my iPad (about 15 feet away) said “OK”.

    That’s actually pretty scary stuff. Phone and iPad were listening and decided all by itself that someone needed some very unwelcome help

    On the other hand, there have apparently been cases where that might have saved someone’s life.

    • #11
  12. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    I’ve had many experiences described in the comments. JY and I both have iPhones, so while I know Siri is lurking, we never use it. 

    last week my sister and I were speaking  on the phone – she told me of her daughter’s recent arrival in Nepal and plans to hike to a base camp. 

    I kid you not, when I opened safari (where I access Ricochet)  this page was open. Not an ad. The actual website was open in a new window. 

    • #12
  13. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Not Siri related, but:

    I’m an old man, so I don’t try to keep up on or understand this modern electronic stuff; but it is scary.

    Last week my Dell laptop died of old age, so I bought a new one and was dreading the drudgery of transferring my stored data and preferences to the new laptop. Imagine my surprise when I opened the new one to find that it was set up exactly as the old one, with all the programs and favorite sites in place. My old laptop was sitting across the room, turned off.

    How did that happen, I wonder.

    • #13
  14. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Not Siri related, but:

    I’m an old man, so I don’t try to keep up on or understand this modern electronic stuff; but it is scary.

    Last week my Dell laptop died of old age, so I bought a new one and was dreading the drudgery of transferring my stored data and preferences to the new laptop. Imagine my surprise when I opened the new one to find that it was set up exactly as the old one, with all the programs and favorite sites in place. My old laptop was sitting across the room, turned off.

    How did that happen, I wonder.

    Google, most likely.

    • #14
  15. Chuck Coolidge
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Years ago was at a woman’s home and she said something:  Her brother responded.

    I have since disconnected the speakers and the listeners (I think).  No google, no facebook, and mostly just Brave + Proton.

    • #15
  16. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Not Siri related, but:

    I’m an old man, so I don’t try to keep up on or understand this modern electronic stuff; but it is scary.

    Last week my Dell laptop died of old age, so I bought a new one and was dreading the drudgery of transferring my stored data and preferences to the new laptop. Imagine my surprise when I opened the new one to find that it was set up exactly as the old one, with all the programs and favorite sites in place. My old laptop was sitting across the room, turned off.

    How did that happen, I wonder.

    Well, if you sign into Windows using your Microsoft Account, Microsoft will store much of that in your account’s online storage.  If you bought both from Dell, it is also possible that Dell does something similar.

    • #16
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