The claims that Facebook is using smartphone microphones to spy on users for better ad targeting has been reignited after a senior executive at Facebook curtly denied the claims over Twitter — and inadvertently validated them in the process.
In response to a tweet from podcast host PJ Vogt’s requesting calls from listeners who believe that Facebook is spying on them, Facebook’s head of advertising tweeted in response: it’s “just not true.”
So what’s going on here?
This conspiracy has been a long-running annoyance for the social network, with a staggering number of users reporting similar instances of ads tailored to specific items they only remember uttering in conversation.
Users became wary back in 2014 when the company rolled out a Spotify-esque feature that picks up what a user is watching or listening to in the background, urging them to post about it in their status updates.
And while the company denied the feature was “always listening,” they did eventually cop to occasionally running the application in the background when it wasn’t supposed to back in 2015.
These guys don’t seem to be doing themselves any favors
While they’ve never officially acknowledged the onslaught of eavesdropping claims, Facebook has offered up some explanations for the necessity of a hot mic — like the ability to shoot, alter, and send videos with audio.
But this tweeting exec just broke the first rule of deflecting a conspiracy theory: never acknowledge it exists.