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Old 2021-07-21, 20:14   #386
PhilF
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
It could just be a coincidence (there will be lots of times whten this
didn't happen - you don't tend to notice those).
If you are genuinely worried, I would suggest monitoring things like
your phone's battery use and Internet use and looking for suspicious
peaks, perhaps.
That would be a double coincidence, and I don't even believe in single ones, lol.

My phone is the only device I have that uses 5 Ghz wireless, and yes, by watching the lights on my wireless router there seems to be 5Ghz communication going on all the time, as in 24/7, and it has been doing that since the phone was new (about 6 months ago).

Last fiddled with by PhilF on 2021-07-21 at 20:16
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Old 2021-07-21, 20:52   #387
kriesel
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilF View Post
So what do we do now? Cover the microphone on the phone when it isn't in use?
Rootiing out any suspect apps might help. Get in the habit of storing your nominally turned off phone in your closed microwave oven or other metal shield enclosure. Sound doesn't get in very well; RF doesn't get out very well. If you leave the phone on, it will boost transmit power trying to check in with a nearby cell tower, and discharge the battery quickly. Many cellphones can be spied upon / used as listening/video monitoring devices by other than their owners, hacked, get forced updates, etc., even when nominally "off". Or geolocated even with GPS off. A quick web search yielded https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/...ying/10548601/ and many more.
What else in your haunts has a microphone? What accounts might have your phone # tied to them?

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Old 2021-07-21, 21:11   #388
retina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilF View Post
So what do we do now? Cover the microphone on the phone when it isn't in use?
No, I wouldn't recommend this at all. It won't help.

If you don't wish to part with the phone then I would recommend buying a phone that has a microphone switch, a real physical switch, which you control with your finger, to connect the microphone to the rest of the system when you want to talk through it. Such phones are available. They aren't common, so you have to look hard. They are absolutely guaranteed to kill any possibility of audio spying (assuming it is not some scam phone).

At a pinch, leave the phone it another room. Use headphones to listen to the radio.
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Old 2021-07-21, 23:19   #389
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It's really not so much that I need a personal solution, because listening in to my life would be rather uninteresting, especially to government, so I don't really care. But, to have someone like me give a first-hand account of what would otherwise have to be an *amazing* coincidence should be eye-opening: I believe my smart phone is performing voice recognition while sitting unused, and then sending those personally-identifiable keywords somewhere, in an absolutely illegal manner. The Government has to keep us protected, you know...

What astounds me even more is that no one has fleshed this keyword data out from the normal system-related data that the phone sends and receives all the time.

I doubt changing phones would change anything, unless I get one of those types retina mentioned where you can physically turn the microphone off.

If I have a 3rd incidence of this I will report it here. If that happens, is there really anyone here who would still believe that it could be only coincidence?
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Old 2021-07-21, 23:39   #390
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Set up an experiment and playback a recording on a loop mentioning only rare topics or unusual products, then see if any related ads start showing.
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Old 2021-07-21, 23:44   #391
PhilF
 
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That is kind of what I am doing now with the ham radio going all the time while I'm working. All kinds of topics come up, including obscure stuff that I normally am not targeted for, like 1970's dances and tractors.

I bet it happens again. Any takers?
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Old 2021-07-21, 23:48   #392
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilF View Post
That is kind of what I am doing now with the ham radio going all the time while I'm working. All kinds of topics come up, including obscure stuff that I normally am not targeted for, like 1970's dances and tractors.
I think this is not 100% a fair test because it is likely many people are listening to the same audio and they will then search for the mentioned topics/products making them "trend" and increasing the likelihood of them appearing in ads for other people.
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Old 2021-07-21, 23:59   #393
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I think you're giving ham radio too much credit. There's hardly anyone left anymore. There could be a handful of people listening to any given conversation at any given time, but no where near enough to cause any trending. Not even close.

If anything, what is "trending" in ham radio is digital modes. In those modes voice isn't used at all. Your computer uses your radio to make contact with someone else's radio/computer. That is logged as a contact, then your computer automatically makes the next contact. And so on and so on. To me that's not what amateur radio is about, but hey, whatever trips your trigger is fine with me.
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Old 2021-07-22, 00:27   #394
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilF View Post
I think you're giving ham radio too much credit. There's hardly anyone left anymore. There could be a handful of people listening to any given conversation at any given time, but no where near enough to cause any trending. Not even close.
Okay, I take your word for it.

Then perhaps it is that those topics are coming up because the HAM people see or hear about them on some other medium (TV news, public radio, YT, TikTok, whatever) and those topics start trending from the other sources.

Either way, I think eliminating the influence of other people's conversations and injecting your own unique source would go further towards exposing the spy.
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Old 2021-07-22, 01:56   #395
Uncwilly
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We could give you some random topics that you could record and loop. With 5 or so giving you random things that the average person doesn't know about you could be assured of a good sample. Here is one random thing. I have altered the image to prevent any bot from reading it directly (so some assembly is required 2 lines things were moved up and down). It is not super well known, it is distinctive enough that you may get music performance related things and a particular location.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	random.jpg
Views:	10
Size:	61.0 KB
ID:	25318  

Last fiddled with by Uncwilly on 2021-07-22 at 01:57
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Old 2021-07-22, 03:09   #396
LaurV
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I am quite sure my phone is listening to me, but I take this "in the positive way". "They" are there to help. Nobody is interested in seeing me burping, farting, picking my nose, snoring, etc. That would be a very boring video to watch. I said that many times, and the "you are not NASA" story I also told it here around (at least two times).

Evidence? Yeah, I have a lot. We had an Italian colleague (here in R&D we used to have 12 people from 7 different countries, from 4 continents, but people come and go, right now we are 10 people from 5 countries from 3 continents) and once we were talking in the office about pizza (yeah, my non-European colleagues were flabbergasted to find out that Italians don't eat pizza continuously, haha). In the next hour or so, few of my colleagues got pizza ads. I woke up one morning with Gigi d'Agostino's Riddle song in my head, and mumble it during shaving, then after eating breakfast I went to the car and because I couldn't get that f!king song out of my mind, I decided to play it for real, in the car, on the way to work. I opened youtube search (in browser, not the yt app, which I don't use due to excessive ads, in browser I can limit the ads) and typed "g" - then guess what was first suggested search line? Welcome! It saved me the rest of the typing. Note that I have an Oppo Reno 2 (the reason why I have this phone is because its best camera in the market for close-up photos - trust me, I checked over 60 phones - and I use that in my daily work, practically that camera can be used as a microscope for minuscule SMT components which I "mess" daily here, and my eyes are getting worse with the age, and because it has popup cameras, when they are not used they are hidden inside of the phone, they can't see outside - at least somebody won't see me burping, etc - yeah I know I contradict myself ), which came with Oppo's ColorOS (based on Android but a lot different), about which people say is sh!t, but it works well for me. I also root'ed it, but can't do much beside of that, because I suck at Linux/Android/related. But learning day by day. And I don't have anything like speech commands, Alexa, Siri, whatever, and the access to microphone is cut for most apps. Another example: One of my colleague has a friend who got twins. We were talking in office about that. Later I got adds for twin cribs and strollers. These can't be coincidences, and I could continue.

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2021-07-22 at 03:26
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