Yes, YouTube is listening to your phone calls. Hear me out, and let me tell you how it’s done. Two people have a phone conversation and talk about a particular product they want to buy. Say it’s an Amazon Alexa for example. After you repeat the words “Amazon Alexa” a couple of times through the microphone in your phone, Google and YouTube pick up on the keywords. The next time you sign into YouTube an ad for Amazon Alexa will pop up almost immediately. Not only will an ad for Amazon Alexa pop up, an ad for a related product Google Home will also popup. You can try it on your own. It will even work for a conversation about colored pencils.
The microphone settings on your phone for YouTube are super smart. The software can separate your phone conversations by your gender and the ads will play in a different order accordingly. If two men are having a conversation the ads will behave in a different manner, than if a man or a woman were having a conversation.
What is more interesting is that you do not have to have a telephone conversation for YouTube to listen to your conversations. Your phone can be in your pocket and YouTube is still listening for the names of products or keywords you are talking about to send you ads.
Pete Erickson, founder of Modev, conducted an interview with Fox5 News on this very subject of cell phone privacy and how companies are accessing your microphone to advertise. Pete also detailed how conversations from your colleagues are also being picked up on your cell phone while go to the bathroom and your cell phone is on your desk. To learn more about Pete’s informative interview on Fox5 you can watch the video here.
Here is a useful video tutorial on how to turn off your microphone so that YouTube, Facebook, and other applications cannot listen to your conversations. The tutorial will show you how to turn off your microphone on iPhones and Androids.
The author of this article, Andy Peters, discovered how YouTube is listening to telephone conversations during a failed Magic trick.
Advertising on YouTube is worth billion and billions of dollars. Are you Ok with YouTube listening to your conversations to sell you products?
For the past couple of years, people have been speaking out against the NSA and the United States Government for listening in on our phone conversations. The NSA has scaled back its efforts. Are YouTube, Facebook, What’s App, and other social media websites invading your privacy more than the NSA? Should it be scaled back? What else is YouTube doing with the information it has about our conversations?