Is Your Phone Listening to You? Experts Weigh In

You may feel like your smartphone is listening to your conversations, but experts say that's probably not what's happening.

"This is something that researchers have looked at a lot. And despite all those weird feelings, they've yet to find any evidence that phones and the apps on them are actually recording or listening to your conversations," Consumer Reports Tech Editor Bree Fowler said.

Consumer Reports Tech Editor Bree Fowler says your phone has much more efficient ways to figure out what you're talking about and what you're interested in without ever recording a conversation.

"Researchers have found that apps on phones will do things like take screen shots or use your GPS to track where you're going. Or even collect video of what you're doing on your phone. And all of this can be used to create targeted ads," Fowler said.

Experts say what you type into your phone could be the culprit.

"Chances are you probably did a Google search for those shoes. Or maybe you mapped out directions to a shoe store," said Fowler.

The amount of our data companies have is staggering but Consumer Reports says one way to limit the access they have is to avoid using the universal sign-on feature offered by big tech companies. Also, monitor the permissions you give each app on your own. If an app doesn't need to know your location, you can take away access to that data.

Apple is focusing on digital privacy with it's latest operating system. Several new features including its own sign-on service are designed to give consumers more power over how much of their information they share.

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