The Meeting Place

Yes, your phone is listening to you


No, you're not paranoid and, yes, your phone is listening to you

Senior cyberscecurity consultant Dr Peter Hannay explained to VICE how smartphones are eavesdropping on your conversations and saving the information for use by third-party apps such as Facebook and Instagram.

The former lecturer and researcher at Edith Cowan University explained that your smartphone usually needs a 'trigger' such as saying "Hey Siri" or "Okay Google", which processes info online, but it will also listen to your conversations and process 'non-triggered' conversations within your phone.

“From time to time, snippets of audio do go back to [other apps like Facebook’s] servers but there’s no official understanding what the triggers for that are,” explains Dr Hannay.

“Whether it’s timing or location-based or usage of certain functions, [apps] are certainly pulling those microphone permissions and using those periodically. All the internals of the applications send this data in encrypted form, so it’s very difficult to define the exact trigger.”

He also explains that any word could be a trigger, such as planning a holiday or discussing tonight's dinner. He also said that the key word is “could,” because Facebook vehemently deny listening to our conversations.


Yes it sure does listen to what is said, as do quite a few TVs -- - I have often been speaking with a Friend in the same room and the phone answers a question that had been asked  of each other --   I find it quite intrusive and way over the top the way BIG brother has taken over and it will get more so,  there are so many things that people are totally unaware of and how they are being spied on --

 I also am not on any of the facebook etc at all and don't even use my phone for emails -- have occasionally used it for getting me somewhere --

Just make sure the data/WiFi is turned off on your phone and you don't have a problem.

While I have no concern that my conversations are of interest to anyone else sometimes I have noticed that my phone battery runs down more rapidly than expected, ie a charge which I expect to last two days actually runs down in one day. Could this be an explanation? I do not subscribe to Facebook or Twitter or any other 'social media' so who would be 'listening'


Google or Apple depending on whether you have an android or iphone!

Yes Siri  -- Apple --- or Google -- Android -- listens to you and is always there if you want to ask a question you can have it answered

Check if you phone has a Permissions feature in it, mine has, where I control start up and access.


Maybe this one will also work on yours.


We will never know if anything really works, but better than nothing.

Good luck.

Thanks, RnR have had a look and will try and sort it --

Thanks for the link Rnr\R

An intresting read.

Apparently Alexa and Cortana will be collaborating so that with Windows 10 devices will be able to ask Cortana to open Alexa and vice versa.

My mobile phone is just that - a means of telephonic communication between my and the call receiver.  I also use messages.  I don't have anything that would be able to listen in to any conversations other than other people listening to my side of a phone call.

SuziJ,  do you have a smartphone or a flip type phone -- those do not listen -- I had one for many years but just got the smartphone about 6 months ago


My flip phone still is in service - ha ha. 

PAYG $30 for 6 months from Telstra as onlyuse it rarely - mainly for Paypal and texts re docs visits etc or a taxi when going to local hospital as parking is horrendous and only 2 disabled spots always full as hundreds of spaces but closest for doctors and staff - see they have their priorities set right for those there all day. 

Rest of us have to walk and its a long walk too as Public Private Hospitals Plus  Medical centre with imaging etc and Specalist Rooms all in one place.

Well folks, better get used to it, not only could your phone be listening to you but also certain agencies could be as well! How do you think counter terrorist units are operating? I understand that there are programs in place that are triggered when certain words are spoken in a phone conversation. You can easily guess which ones they could be? This then alerts the agents to monitor these conversations to keep one step ahead of the bad guys and many a plot has been thwarted in this way. So don't ever say anything in jest that could be misconstrued, not only Big Brother is on the lookout , but his sisters, aunts and the man from UNCLE too!!! Remember anything you say on the phone or write in emails for example, in these times cannot be guaranteed to be private, and may come back to haunt you! Another irritation is the practice of certain websites to track you around the internet and follow your every move. This could be done for various nefarious reasons as well as to flood you with unwanted advertising etc. I find that the "private browsing" and tracking prevention feature in the Mozilla Firefox browser goes some way to counteract this.

Also, have you ever noticed that movies that are coming out now and have been for some time the movies that are out now and have been for some time -- it is to brainwash us into what is to come 

Why do they have such violentgames for Kids to play -- it is to brain wash them into getting used to such things