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Stop Smartphones from Listening

Many smartphone users are unaware that their phone is capable of listening to conversations, even when the screen is turned off. Some apps can mysteriously turn on the microphone function and target conversations and noise in the background to produce targeted ads. It is possible to mitigate this issue and thus reduce the risk of passive listening. Here are a few steps to help keep conversations private and out of the hands of apps and advertising companies.

  • Block apps' access to your microphone

  • Don’t install a smartphone app within two weeks of its release

  • Put your phone away

    Don’t have sensitive conversations around your phone. When discussing information that is of a very private nature, keep your phone in another room or put it away

  • Turn off voice assistants

    Turn off phone-based voice assistnt apps like Siri, Cortana, or Google Echo

    These apps have triggering phrases such as “Hey Siri” and “Okay Google” but these devises are also capable of being hacked, recording conversations, and perhaps creating new triggering phrases



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The Office of Privacy and Data Protection announces beta testing of “Privacy Modeling,” a new web application that identifies the privacy laws relevant to the product or service you wish to create.

Go to Privacy Modelling App

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