Your phone is listening and it’s not paranoia

Sam Nichols, Vice:

A couple years ago, something strange happened. A friend and I were sitting at a bar, iPhones in pockets, discussing our recent trips in Japan and how we’d like to go back. The very next day, we both received pop-up ads on Facebook about cheap return flights to Tokyo. It seemed like just a spooky coincidence, but then everyone seems to have a story about their smartphone listening to them. So is this just paranoia, or are our smartphones actually listening?

I have heard so many examples like this. It seems impossible that all these anecdotes are mere coincidences. I’ve been just waiting for someone to take the time and run some (relatively) controlled experiments to prove or disprove this theory.

I am still not convinced one way or the other. I’d still love to see a rigorous experiment that really nails down all the variables. But a fascinating read.

[H/T Storm Garelli]