How to protect yourself against cross device tracking? This weekend live on Radio Dubai 103.8

Feeling spied by your phone? Some answers – this weekend live on Radio #Dubai 103.8:
Searching online about phone listening can be a confusing rabbit hole. Headlines blare conflicting messages, while studies seem to debunk the idea altogether. You might have even done your own experiment, talking about a random topic and then – boom – there it is in an ad. So, what’s the real story?
The truth is, it’s a bit more nuanced. Your phone does have the capability to listen, thanks to features like virtual assistants that wait for wake words like „Hey Siri“. Many apps also request microphone access, which they can use for various features or, with permission, potentially targeted advertising.
Here’s where things get interesting. While your phone can listen, it’s unlikely to be constantly recording everything you say. Storage limitations and growing privacy concerns have pushed tech giants to be more transparent about user control.
So, why that creepy feeling of targeted ads after a random conversation? There are a couple of reasons. First, confirmation bias. We tend to remember the times a specific ad follows a conversation, forgetting the many irrelevant ones we see every day. Second, the data collection net for targeted ads is cast far and wide. Your searches, browsing history, location, and demographics all contribute to that eerily specific ad, even if your phone wasn’t directly listening to your conversation.
Here’s the bottom line: Your phone probably isn’t recording your every word. You can control microphone access for most apps, and targeted ads rely on a much broader range of data than just what you say out loud.
Feeling like your phone is listening in? Take back control. Review app permissions, limit ad tracking on your device, and consider using a separate browser for sensitive searches. By understanding how ad targeting works and taking charge of your privacy settings, you can minimize that creepy feeling of being spied on by your own device.

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