For a while, articles have circulated about how we’re being recorded in just about any circumstance imaginable via the microphone on our smart phones.
The truth about this comes in a few different layers: what is admitted in the terms and conditions of messenger and what is provably true, and what is less provably true, but still worthy of being aware of.
First, the terms and conditions for Facebook messenger state that a user must agree to the company being allowed access to their microphone. The terms state that Facebook must have the ability to record audio at any given moment, without necessarily the knowledge or permission of the user. It’s always in the fine print.
As you can see in the above screencap, it clearly states that users must accept Facebook’s right to “record audio with the microphone … at any time without your confirmation.”
More insights nto the fine print show that Facebook is allowed to take pictures and videos using the camera of the device at will, and that they can directly call numbers on your phone. Many apps have terms and conditions like these, but we can all understand that the Facebook messenger app sort of sets a precedent for what terms and conditions other apps will have the gall to put in.
This decade we’re currently living in will be remembered forever as the decade that people became addicted to smart phones.
Facebook is the monopoly of the monopoly, and social media is the theme of this entire 2010’s decade.
Many people understand the possibility that what we say around our smart phones is being recorded, or that we are being video recorded or photographed from our phone cameras, so people tape their microphones and cameras.
In fact, the founder of Facebook himself Mark Zuckerberg has been proven to tape his microphone and camera on the laptop.
In my personal experience, on multiple occasions I have said extremely non-coincidental, specific phrases in front of other people’s un-taped smart phones, only to have advertisements for those very same phrases I said be repeated on their phones. In my personal experience alone the fact that a smart phone listens to what you say has been proven to me personally, beyond any shadow of a doubt.
The possibilities are endless, for what bad things could happen if we are constantly allowing ourselves to be videotaped and recorded.
Think about this: every moment of every day, you’re being recorded if your phone is with you and the microphone isn’t taped. Some would suggest everyone keep some duct tape handy, and place a small piece over your smart phone microphone (or both microphones on some phones). The most effective way to defy surveillance is to completely block it out like this.
One day, videos might start to surface that were recorded on people’s smart phones without their permission, leaked by employees of Facebook or the state, or even by regular hackers or criminals who tapped into the surveillance infrastructure.
Audio recordings pulled straight from the bottomless pit of state sponsored surveillance footage might start to surface in the near future.
One day these surveillance recordings may even be played in court.
In a century, historical records of this period could shamelessly include the most intimate details of our lives. The possibilities are limitless with surveillance, so tape your devices if you want to do something about it.