We always suspected our phones were listening to us, and now we have proof — advertising company CMG Local Solutions reveals "active listening" use...

Just_Me_D

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Unless I missed it, the article did not indicate “how” this is being done. I mean, wouldn’t this require access to my iPhone’s microphone? With the exception of the app that controls guest access to my community, no other 3rd-party app has access to the microphone.
 
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Annie_M

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Unless I missed it, the article did not indicate “how” this being done. I mean, wouldn’t this require access to my iPhone’s microphone? With the exception of the app that controls guest access to my community, no other 3rd-party app has access to the microphone.
Great question!!!
 

Bla1ze

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Unless I missed it, the article did not indicate “how” this is being done. I mean, wouldn’t this require access to my iPhone’s microphone? With the exception of the app that controls guest access to my community, no other 3rd-party app has access to the microphone.
Not everyone is so diligent with their permissions. They prey on people just hitting accept on the T&C's and permission windows. It's also not solely based on phones either, the company is basically Cox and think about all the places they could potentially embed that sort of technology. Have Cox as an ISP, it could be in the router they provide you or it could be in your set top box or built into their Android / iOS apps.
 
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EdwinG

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Unless I missed it, the article did not indicate “how” this is being done. I mean, wouldn’t this require access to my iPhone’s microphone? With the exception of the app that controls guest access to my community, no other 3rd-party app has access to the microphone.
From the original reporting, it’s not even clear if they are doing it on the iPhone at all.

It seems to be those “smart speakers” that are being leveraged.
 
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Just_Me_D

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From the original reporting, it’s not even clear if they are doing it on the iPhone at all.

It seems to be those “smart speakers” that are being leveraged.

True, however, what’s depicted in the article happens to my wife all the time, and then she asks me how is it happening? I I’ve stopped answering the question….(laughing)….She’s always on Amazon, she uses Google exclusively to search, shop, navigate, and then she has an Amazon Echo Show, a Google speaker, a gazillion web pages open on her iPhone. You get the picture.
 

Just_Me_D

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Not everyone is so diligent with their permissions. They prey on people just hitting accept on the T&C's and permission windows. It's also not solely based on phones either, the company is basically Cox and think about all the places they could potentially embed that sort of technology. Have Cox as an ISP, it could be in the router they provide you or it could be in your set top box or built into their Android / iOS apps.

That’s true.
 
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EdwinG

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True, however, what’s depicted in the article happens to my wife all the time, and then she asks me how is it happening? I I’ve stopped answering the question….(laughing)….She’s always on Amazon, she uses Google exclusively to search, shop, navigate, and then she has an Amazon Echo Show, a Google speaker, a gazillion web pages open on her iPhone. You get the picture.
First thing that comes to mind: Chrome’s super-cookie (whatever term they call it today).

But yeah, cross-site tracking is very much a thing, even if Apple tries to make it as hard as possible.
 

darthor

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It would be helpful if the article listed the CMG apps or libraries that might be actively listening so if we have them we could remove them.
 

wowthisguyreally

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Unless I missed it, the article did not indicate “how” this is being done. I mean, wouldn’t this require access to my iPhone’s microphone? With the exception of the app that controls guest access to my community, no other 3rd-party app has access to the microphone.
Would they even need to implement the microphone access toggle in their app setting if it states in their TCs they will have access to it and by downloading whatever app is acceptance of that? Apple lets apps control things that should be OS specific. Also, Apple does no verifying that what they have access to and the data the collect via their appstore page is even truce.
 

EdwinG

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Would they even need to implement the microphone access toggle in their app setting if it states in their TCs they will have access to it and by downloading whatever app is acceptance of that?
They do. When an app requires audio input (microphone) or video input (camera), the API they use will trigger a permission request to the user to ask for said permission.

iOS and iPadOS are pretty locked down on interactions that control the hardware that the device comes with. A user can always come back and remove the permission that they deem unnecessary for a given app.
 
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