Facebook denies they uses a microphone to listen to what users are saying and then send them relevant ads

A Facebook executive has denied the social network uses a device’s microphone to listen to what users are saying and then send them relevant ads.

Rob Goldman, the tech giant’s vice-president of ads, was responding to a tweet by PJ Vogt, the presenter of a tech podcast called Reply All.

Anecdotally, many people report seeing adverts which appear to be related to recent, real-life conversations.

Mr Vogt had asked for details of these specific occasions.

“I run ads product at Facebook. We don’t – and have never – used your microphone for ads. Just not true,” Mr Goldman wrote.

When another Twitter user asked him if that included Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook, he replied, “Yes.”

PJ Vogt got hundreds of replies to his original tweet.

“A co-worker got an ad saying, “So you popped the question!” minutes after he proposed, before he told anyone it had happened,” wrote Tori Hoover.

“At work, happened to me though earlier this year. Working as a barista, got a burn, talked to my partner in person about it, went to Target, bought the burn cream, and saw an ad on FB for the exact product I purchased. Never searched for product either,” wrote Brigitte Bonasoro.


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