Are Giant Tech Companies Using “Voice Cookies” to Target Ads or Suggest Content?

Well for most people out there, the term “Voice Cookies” would be a new addition to their vocabulary. To be honest, this is something of my own and came to my mind “when I was talking to one of my friends on phone, and later at night, I saw a video relevant to our conversation on YouTube“.

To those people who really don’t know about the “Cookies” in the world of the Internet, here’s a clear definition. A cookie is a small piece of data that is stored on your phone or computer whenever you browse the internet.

voice cookies and tech giants

Cookies record all the useful information like user credentials, passwords, payment information, pages visited, products added to a shopping cart, photos or videos liked, etc.

Tracking and recording cookies to show targeted ads to the end-users has been aggressively practiced by giant tech companies like Facebook and Google.

This was the reason that prompted the US and European lawmakers to take action against Facebook and other tech companies related to privacy concerns in 2011.

European law required all websites to take informed consent from users before capturing any cookies. The rules still apply if a person is surfing the internet in “Incognito Mode”.

But Do They Deal the Same Way With the Voice Data?

So, there are now rules that need the consent of users to save their cookies to show targeted ads later on? But what about the so-called “Consent” if we are talking on the phone, especially, using Whatsapp?

Now comes the great part of the Story!!

Now Whatsapp says that our conversation is encrypted, and there is no way they can use our data to target ads. So I was talking to my friend on phone through “Whatsapp“, and I saw video suggestions for that relevant topic to which we were talking later that night on “YouTube“.

We know that YouTube is owned by Google and Whatsapp by Facebook, respectively. The sharing of user data between two different companies that earn huge revenue from targeted advertisements remains unknown at this point.

An article published at the Sun.co.uk also tells the same story. People complained that they were talking about something on the Facebook Messenger, and soon it showed up on the app.

On other hand, Facebook clearly stated that they do not record microphone or voice commands to show ads to end-users. Moreover, Facebook officials said that they target ads only on the basis of user’s interest.

We know that Facebook has a terrible record when it comes to the privacy and security concerns of users. However, there is not a single evidence that tells us that Facebook records the voice commands to generate more revenue.

However, there are some studies that suggest that researchers can get data that moves in and out of your phone. Again, it is worth mentioning at this point the privacy policy of Facebook in relation to Whatsapp, the end-to-end encryption.

There are a number of applications in your phone that use your microphone and camera to work properly. However, none of them can get access to your audio conversations and understand your interests.

It will take some time and research to unveil the reality behind this “Voice Cookies” stuff. But are these tech giants really spying on our audio conversations? Let us know your views in the comments section.

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