How to Keep the Facebook App from Spying on Your Private Conversations

Facebook’s notoriety and complete disregard for user privacy keeps on getting worse by the day. As the world’s biggest and most popular social network site, Facebook tends to get off the hook with an apology and quick correction for each mistake. The latest report shows that the social network listens to user conversations using your smartphone’s microphone.

Facebook claims that the audience gathered is to better advertising campaigns or give you hints on what kind of content you should use on your status updates.

The social network algorithms will not only analyze what you say but also sift through the background data to identify the kind of music or movies you are playing and perhaps find out whether you are in an office, on the streets or out on vacation.

This is very creepy.

Facebook Swears They’ll Never Abuse the Audio

Facebook promises to use the gathered information for no other purpose that give you the right adverts and status update suggestions. Many people, however, believe that it is just but a matter of time before this promise goes to the gutters.

How to Block Facebook from Listening in

Turning this feature off is as simple as denying the App the rights to using the microphone without affecting important features like audio captions for the blind.

For iPhone

Settings App > Privacy > Microphone … then revoke Facebook’s access to the microphone

For Android

Settings > Privacy … then change Facebook permissions to disable access to microphone data

Facebook Audio Photo Caption for blindThe feature was first introduced in 2014 to target US users. Since we cannot be certain if the same still applies to Kenyan users two years down the line, it would be wise to secure your privacy by denying Facebook the chance to record your daily life.

Understanding the long permissions list on any app you install will help you stay safe at all times. Very few people take the time to read these permission requests hence many apps have the freedom to roam your device and gather incriminating data and information without our knowing.

Well, you really don’t have to be paranoid and revert to the classic Nokia phones when surveillance was only real in James Bond movies. Just be careful and mean whatever you say. The 21st century walls do have ears.

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