Have you ever talked about a vacation you wanted to go on with your friends while out in public and the next day you saw an ad for direct flights to that dream destination? I'm not saying they're listening, but like... maybe?
Technology is getting smarter and smarter by the day. The way technology gathers information about us has become a task that goes unnoticeable in most instances. In fact, companies have gotten so good at getting our information that we've started too look passed the fact that anything/everything we do gets noted. Sometimes, if you really take the time to step back and think about it, some technology/service knows you so well, they can predict your next thought. Scary.
1. Google Home / Alexa
Alexa. Who doesn't have one nowadays?
These smart speakers, if you think about it, are always listening. They are always listening for trigger words like "hey Google" or "Alexa". They never really turn 'off.' Even when you put them on mute how are you suppose to confirm that the smart device actually turns off its ears? You can't. These speakers are always listening.
I heard somewhere that in Europe, when people apply for new jobs, they can ask for a copy of all the social media records that come up when the company searches the applicant. This one applicant asked for a copy but accidentally received someone else's. What was on the record you may ask? The other person's transcript of a conversation between himself and his wife the smart speaker picked up.
2. iRobot Roomba - Robot Vacuums
Ah yes. What type of data can a vacuum pick up? Well, it does spend it's day gliding it's way around your home. It is connected to wifi.
These devices get to know your floor plan. It spends hours calculating the way around your home. Now, what could someone do with this information?
3. Ring - Video Doorbell
"Let's install a camera in our front house so it records us every time we walk into our home." Again, I don't say this to scare you, but I would like to illustrate the fact that these tech companies potentially know more about us than we may assume. The information they gather, won't usually be used negatively but rather positively to better improve their services.
4. Siri - iPhone
Siri, just like Alexa and Google home always has her ears open waiting to hear the words "hey Siri." Siri is always listening sometimes even when she's not supposed to.
5. iPhone - Location Services
If you think about it, many apps on your phone automatically has location services turned on. Why? Because more precise ads can be target to you based on your current location. For example, your in close proximity to a neighborhood Starbucks. Pick up your phone and open up social media, a Starbucks ad may just pop up to your screen.
6. Facebook (if you haven't already heard)
Facebook. Must I go on?
Target is one of the first companies that really jumped on the "get to know your customer" bandwagon real quick. Many years ago, based on a customer's purchase pattern, Target was able to predict her pregnancy before the customer could even tell her family. How insane is that?
8. Amazon - Aka Jeff Bezos
Amazon is rapidly becoming a leading player in convenience shopping. I mean, who hasn't used Amazon Prime? Amazon not only has you set up an account, but it records the things you purchase and from there, they are able to remember the brands you like, the items you like to buy and the prices you agree to purchase.
9. Instagram - Tagged image location
Just like Snapchat, Instagram can find exactly where you are based on the location you match to your published photo.
It's crazy to think that this is the type of world we live in today where information about us is gathered left and right and most of the time without us realizing it.