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Facebook strikes back at 'always listening' myths

Facebook strikes back at 'always listening' myths
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Facebook hears what you're saying, and it says it's not listening!

A new Facebook app will use your smartphone's microphone for audio recognition. It will listen for music and TV shows, and then ask you if you want more information about them, or to post a status with that information to your wall. The new feature is expected to roll out within weeks.

People are so upset about the thought that the app is listening that petitions are circulating to force Facebook to kill the idea.

But Facebook says it won't always be listening.

"First and foremost, the feature is opt-in for users," [Facebook Security Infrastructure head Gregg Stefancik] said. "We're not doing it without the user consent."


"If there's a match, we return what the match is to the user [and] give them the option of posting the match. The user is in complete control and the audio fingerprint that we've received is disposed of immediately. The raw audio never leaves the phone and the data about the match is only stored if you choose to post it."

Another Facebook spokesperson said the company will use the info they do gather to keep a chart of the most watched and listened to songs and TV shows.

The best way to protect yourself is to make sure you don't switch this feature on when it becomes available.

If you see a blue audio icon flashing, that means Facebook is trying to identify noises. If there's no icon, Facebook isn't listening. Keeping it "off" should protect you.

While you're at it, you should go take a look at all your privacy settings in Facebook. Find out about 5 Facebook privacy problems you need to fix now.

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Source: CNET
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