Just because Facebook isn’t listening to you, doesn’t mean that there isn’t the possibility that other apps aren’t. Read more to see how you can avoid digital spying.


If you’re like me, you don’t give the pop-up box that displays when you download a new app a second glance. Most people don’t. 

And, that’s the important step that companies don’t want you to notice.

Facebook has already noted that they are not listening to your conversations, after a few viral internet conversations pushed this allegation to be a major headline.

 But just because Facebook isn’t listening doesn’t mean that there isn’t the possibility that other apps aren’t. 

In fact, roughly 24% of apps don't even have a privacy policy, according to the Future of Privacy Forum's 2016 study

So, Who’s Listening?

Big data is a big deal these days. Brands have a vested interest in who their customers are and how they can tailor existing products or build new ones to help satisfy your needs. Marketing departments are constantly searching for new tools to help them curate the best customer experience for you to keep you engaged with their brand and an advocate of their product.

First, I should probably put your fears to rest. There isn’t someone listening to your private conversations with a pair of headphones in a NASA-like mission control room. What companies may be using, however, are varying data computer programs that can identify keywords and the frequency of which they’re used.

Where You Have Control

This step is obvious, but you have control over most of the apps that are on your phone. Where you lose some of that control is in the apps that come pre-loaded on your iPhone or Android device, which may vary based on the make, model and even cellular service you have.

Here are 3 quick things you can do to keep your information safe:

  • 1. Read the Terms of Service and Privacy Agreements.
  • 2. Only allow the minimum level of access for necessary apps.
  • 3. Review which apps are already downloaded on your phone.

When You Should Review Permissions

Right away! Get into the habit of reading that little pop-up whenever you download a new app. And go one step further to review all of your app permissions and smartphone settings once every couple of months.

But if privacy is important to you (and I’m assuming it is), then you need to pause for a moment before granting away permissions to marketers across the globe. What’s even more crucial, is to check the permissions available on your child’s phone or tablet too.

Steps for Reviewing App Privacy:

Take a look at these step-by-step suggestions for keeping for private information as private as possible.

  • Android

Navigate to Settings, then click Apps. Tap the gear icon in the upper right corner and select App Permissions. Here, you can see which privileges are granted to each app on your phone.


  • iOS

Navigate to Settings, then select Privacy. Click on Microphone and you can see which apps have requested access on your iPhone.

           To learn more about the apps your family use, search through out App Advisor.


About Jennifer Leonard

Jennifer Leonard is the Social Media Manager for Zift. She is passionate about connecting with people – in person and via social media. She spends her days writing, tweeting, pinning and using as many hashtags she possibly can. #Goals 

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