iPhone listening

Everyone has an “I think my phone is listening” story. Sandrarose.com readers often report seeing advertisements pop up online after they say certain phrases in private conversations. It’s not a coincidence.



VICE magazine writer Sam Nichols conducted an experiment that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that his iPhone is listening to his private conversations.

A cybersecurity expert confirmed his suspicions, saying smartphones do collect information about what we say. But he said consumers shouldn’t be concerned because the data is only being sold to advertisers — not to your local law enforcement or the FBI.

But he admitted there’s no way to know if that’s true or not.

Here’s what Nichols had to say about his experiment:

With this in mind, I decided to try an experiment. Twice a day for five days, I tried saying a bunch of phrases that could theoretically be used as triggers. Phrases like I’m thinking about going back to uni and I need some cheap shirts for work. Then I carefully monitored the sponsored posts on Facebook for any changes.

The changes came literally overnight. Suddenly I was being told mid-semester courses at various universities, and how certain brands were offering cheap clothing. A private conversation with a friend about how I’d run out of data led to an ad about cheap 20 GB data plans. And although they were all good deals, the whole thing was eye-opening and utterly terrifying.

Cybersecurity experts suggest locating the PERMISSIONS tab in your phone’s settings and deny microphone access to ALL apps. You should not allow apps access to the microphone except on a case-by-case basis.

You should also remove the Facebook app since Facebook is the worst offender.

Mark Zuckerberg

FB CEO Mark Zuckerberg earns billions of dollars from selling your conversations and personal data to third parties.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Facebook admitted selling your data to 60 mobile companies including four data firms in China — one of which is listed as a security threat to the United States.

On Monday, two Democrats on the Senate Commerce Committee, Edward Markey and Richard Blumenthal, fired off a letter to Zuckerberg demanding answers.

“New revelations that Facebook provided access to users’ personal information, including religion, political preferences, and relationship status, to dozens of mobile device manufacturers without users’ explicit consent are deeply concerning,” they said in a letter.

Stock photo by JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images



  • Yoni7

    I believe it. So is Alexa. And your ‘SmartTv’. When you turn off that (Samsung) tv, a red light comes on…….why? Are people still searching for Pokémon’s? I was sitting in a parking lot one day minding my business…and this grown ass woman walked up to my car talking about “are you searching for Pokémon’s?”…..B!tch if yo don’t get yo ass away from my car! I will Poke you in yo eye, MON!” SCRAM!

  • sunni_daze

    The worse part is now apps like FB are pre-installed on the newer phones and you can’t remove them, only disable.

  • bemetoo

    thats why i unplug all tvs at night

  • Kanyade

    not surprised.

  • Bdot

    Those new Facebook commercials are a trip

  • Kanyade

    lol. i thought that Pokemon phase was just a phase. hilarious.

  • Rayne

    When I download anything I don’t give permission to any app. I’ve also disabled the permission tab.

  • Yoni7

    It probably was, like Farmville, Angry Birds and Candy Crush. I’ve never played any of them.

  • Honeybun3757

    I just recently got the S9. Was able to uninstall the Facebook app off my phone. Previously had the S7 edge and it would not let me take that crap off my phone for NOTHING!!!! It was like a bad rash.. every time I thought I got it off the S7 it would just pop back up. THE DEVIL!!! LOL

  • JV

    Totally. It’s very transparent that Facebook is all about the money and nothing else. Look how they acquired WhatsApp, which was known to be very user friendly and free of ads, and completely destroyed everything decent about it, to the point where the original creators lost millions just to wash their hands of their own company. Facebook cares about making money and that’s it.

  • JV

    Nothing will be creepier than that story about how Alexa would suddenly turn on at random moments and laugh. So creepy.

  • Ni Ni

    I don’t use the facebook or Twitter apps. I’ll just go to the website and log in. Of course neither has my real name. I have android and turned off access to my microphone and camera. My location is turned off. I did download duckduckgo, i hope it helps.

  • Blaque Mahogany

    Have you seen the clip of the kids asking Alexa to tell them a scary story and then she freaks them out and they start screaming and hollering. The mother comes running in the room to figure out what is going on. Hilarious. They were screaming, “Stop it, Alexa. Turn off Alexa!”

  • SweetTEE

    Me too, I always keep everything unplugged just to keep my electricity bill low.

  • SweetTEE

    Totally agree. I roll my eyes every time one of those commercials play. Bish you knew what you were doing.

  • justlooking

    Never got on the Iphone bandwagon and I got off of facebugga, there is no need to know that much about anyone or viceversa.

    Happy Thursday Roses

  • Coy little wink

    Zuckerberg is an atheist…he has zero fukks to give

  • JV

    Haha no, but I’m gonna google it because that sounds hilarious

  • sunni_daze

    Then I need to go to the 9. I have the 7 and that is my whole problem along with their messenger app

  • Ni Ni

    He’s of the serpent seed, you say? It all makes sense now?.

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Been spying .. Chile even when the phone is off ….they’re still spying

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Yep serpent bloodline fugg em … Serpent Reptilian spy heavy as a means for control

  • JV

    You know what kills me? When the internet gets you and your spouse confused and starts sending you ads based on what they’re looking at. I’ll be on my sites and then I’ll see a couple ads in a row and I’m like, “Oh, looks like someone’s looking at Gucci boots this morning..”

  • Ni Ni

    Makes me think about weening myself offline and get a flip phone sometimes.

  • JV

    I HATE pre-installed apps!! With a passion

  • FOR COMMENT

    all this info is coming out now because they know it doesn’t matter. the consumers are in to deep with their phone’s and social media. They won’t give it up now.

  • tintin

    lmao. hahahahahahahah

  • Ni Ni

    My brother called me a few years ago asking how to erase his search history. I figured his pc had started giving him pop ups from visiting them ole sites (p0rn). He told me he had been searching for a gift online for his wife and he didnt want her to find out ??.

  • tintin

    my co-worker says her mom lost her husband because she was going into debt with that damn farmville.The woman kept buying imaginary land with their mortgage money that’s supposed to pay for their real house. Husband kicked her a$$ out.

  • JV

    That’s funny!

  • king shun

    walked past a bbq grill in walmart when i got online i saw same bbq grill and this is just from walking past it

  • Scromes1212

    Why are people so surprised smh how did they think Facebook was making all that money. This is why I keep my flip phone smh

  • Yoni7

    STOP IT!!! You had to pay for that stuff???

  • Yoni7

    So serious. I had my Grand-Sun in the car with me. I don’t play that shit. Nobody summoned you over HERE!

  • tintin

    yes maam.. I don’t know about farmville but i heard you can buy farming equipment, land, cow all the works. she was spending thousands.

  • cherrypie

    What’s duckduckgo?

  • WutizstillHERE!

    The scariest one to day beyond Suri, Alexa is Jibo..Its a learning robot that can recognize your friends as they walk into your house and hold a conversation with them..check it out on youtube..

  • cherrypie

    I have the S8 Edge and love it. Is there a big difference between the S7 and S9?

  • BadAss Will

    Not shock at all, when someone hacked my sound Cloud i became a Galaxy Man.

  • Darkandlovely617?

    It’s a search engine option on iPhone

  • Quitedeliteful

    LOLLOLLOL!!!!!

  • Quitedeliteful

    OMG!!!! She needs help fast!!!

  • Quitedeliteful

    Whuuut??

  • Quitedeliteful

    I don’t have an IPhone. I’m a Galaxy Girl. I wonder if ‘the man’ listens in on the Galaxy…

  • Trace da Ace

    see that is crazy….I went into my phone and turned my microphone off for everything!! I’m telling yall…the internet will be our demise!!! Folks post any and everything and dem folks is watching….scary thought.

  • Logan Roberts

    Yes. One day I was in my bedroom combing my hair and out of no where Google asked me “what did you say I didn’t get that” it scared the hell out of me.

  • Bossy704

    YUP. No Facebook No Twitter. No logging into apps with Facebook. I don’t mind targeted marketing but what they are doing is beyond invasive.

  • Ni Ni

    Its for android too.

  • Yoni7

    Damn shame.

  • Ni Ni

    A search engine that supposedly the best for privacy. It’s free in the app store.

  • Crystal W.

    LOOL

  • Greatgrape37

    The government knows what Facebook is doing, they commissioned him to do this data collection. Smh. Thanks for the tips Sandra.

  • n1kk1a

    I freaking knew it! I was just talking to my husband about this very topic yesterday! We were talking about hot dogs and how we switched to veggie dogs, and then, boom! Just like that, the next thing that pops up on my timeline is an article about the dangers of hot dogs and how they can be cancerous. I. Freaking. Knew it.

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    I got rid of my cellphone … Long time ago and they still spy … IDGAF hell I’m protected …. Hell folks spy so much in general … That’s what these reptilians want… I still do what the fawk I wanna do and say what the fawk I feel … They also do it to steal people’s ideas right from under their nose … Next thing you know your invention is being brought out by one of these dark people and you be like damn… I came up with that…. They steal… Big time… I know first hand … All by spying… So many people have had great ideas to have a lucrative financially stable business and someone beats them to the punch… Well it was stolen … The dark are well vexed in telepathy … Telephones technology anything dealing with spying with communication stay woke ?

  • cherrypie

    Oh ok. I have an android

  • Honeybun3757

    Kinda.. the one thing I hate with the S9 is that you cant assign different notification tones to your contacts when some one text you. Until Samsung fixex it, you have to download a messaging app from the play store to use. :-(

  • Quitedeliteful

    Whuuut??? I’ve never experienced anything like that… I know I get tons of ads based on the sites I’v visited but that’s about it…

  • Listen2Me

    I think there’s truth to this. My experience- If at all possible; I try not to use public restrooms, so of course by the time I make it home I’m running for the bathroom. One of those days I told my daughter to “move out of the way; before she makes me piss on myself” the very next day on THIS blog I had an advertisement for depends or some shit similar.

  • BingBangBoom

    Lol ain’t that the truth!!

  • ?Patty Kakes?

    I have always said Facebook was gonna ruin this country and it well on it’s way smh

  • Pebbles

    Wow!

  • Pebbles

    What is Alexa

  • Well$$Well$$?

    One day I was trying to find an alternate route to my job and while putting in my jobs address Maps already had it saved as work. My mind was blown like how does this phone know this is where I work. So I’m not surprised at all to hear that these phones track your movements etc..

  • Dollface

    Man I swear this has been happening to me and I thought I was just tripping.

  • CookieMobster

    That’s why I don’t have ANY social media….

  • Darkandlovely617?

    @Nini says it’s for Android as well

  • JennyJazzhands

    True story: I was walking around Walmart, lost and looking for some specific fabric for an African dance. After I had walked around the store twice, my phone buzzed.
    My phone said “I can see that you’re lost at Walmart, tell me what your looking for.” I said “fabric”, phone told me the isle and how far away I was.
    I have a Samsung and I didn’t even say “ok Google” or nothing.

  • Kemi

    This is a new age social media marketing , which is, commercially-saturated to target consumers through the means of social media activities/internet searches/ smart gadgets etc. Smart ploy for businesses to multiply on their revenue…

  • WutizstillHERE!

    Jibo they claim is like a member of the family. If you came over my house and I introduced Jibo to you.. the next time you came it would say hey Quite how are you.. it will recognize you are in the room!

  • Quitedeliteful

    That’s crazy…

  • SweetTEE

    Tuh, once you see that $40 bill it’s a go from there!

  • Karen Brady

    GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE! I done heard it all now. I’m about to throw my phone away and live under the damn bed. Bye ya’ll!

  • Karen Brady

    Same here and I figured it must see what time we arrive/depart every day… It did it with home for me because I didn’t save my home address for this very reason. Oh well.

  • i troll it like i see it

    You’re right. We have to keep living life as is, because we are being monitored and there isn’t a damn thing anyone can do about it.

  • Karen Brady

    LOL. Sorry – “move out of the way; before she makes me piss on myself”. That’s me everywhere all the damn time :-(.

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Nope and certainly don’t be scared … Know you hold the power hell fugg em…

  • Junkanoo

    We don’t exist solely to consume nor to be used to amass profits. We need newer more evolved ideas on how to barter goods and services

  • Taj

    Yeah true. But I’ve been thinking of going back to flip phones for a while now. This news has pushed me over. And you bet your bottom dollar google and facebook are in bed w/ the government and. Don’t believe this bull about how they only sell your info to private companies.

  • Taj

    well disqus is a type of social media. I don’t trust these bishes either. I get the feeling my trolling will come back to haunt me one day. lol

  • CookieMobster

    You and my husband. He says this is social media! You ain’t helping my case!! ??

  • Liah

    LMAO!!!!!!!

  • Liah

    Its no secret!…SMDH!

  • nicfury420

    Omg! I’m scary as hell. I don’t even watch scary movies & I’ll change the channel if a commercial for one comes on. I would’ve had a heart attack if that happened to me! ?

  • kekeb

    DUH! raise your hands if you’re surprised.
    Edward Snowden already told y’all what’s up

  • Rhondalousey

    Yes and facebook is the worst. I put up picks of my family, not too much posting but one day i said something (not too bad) about trump then boom, i cant log in anymore. Its been 6 months and i said fuq it, never looked back.

  • Rhondalousey

    ??

  • Rhondalousey

    Lmao, always been one (woman), bever did apple.

  • Rhondalousey

    That is scary.

  • Allihave2say

    Scary.

  • Allihave2say

    funny

  • Yoni7

    Real.

  • tintin

    i cant lie i love me some candy crush..soda that is

  • Yoni7

    LOL

  • Roxie Moxie

    LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m dying over here!!!

  • Roxie Moxie

    Sh*t, I remember going into the grocery store with my fiancee and we went really quick to get some stuff to make breakfast and threw on some sweats and sneakers….he had on Budweiser sweats (don’t ask, lol). So, we get in line and she starts to ring up our stuff and then we see on the display that it rang up a 6-pack of Budweiser?? I was like, “um, we don’t have any beer on the conveyor she she said, ‘Oh, it scanned his sweatpants”. O_O

    Um, where was the barcode though?? I dunno. Sh*t creeped me out.

  • slim3542

    Wow.??

  • Karen Brady

    That’s nuts

  • Malai

    You guys by far the most craziest thing wit my phone is when I was reading something just holding the phone in my hand and the phone SCREEN SHOTTED without me holding the Home and power button. The screen went all white for a split second… It’s like someone took a pic of my face or something and this has happened about 3 times to me over the last 5 years..

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    My Samsung S5 constantly took photos when it was on a table or on the sofa. I wasn’t even holding it.

  • MRiGOThim

    lmao this is so true…I was talking about some new furniture & now all of a sudden advertisements for OVERSTOCK keep popping up :P