No, Facebook Isn't Listening to Your Conversations
There’s a good chance that you cover the camera on your laptop in order to protect your privacy. This doesn’t make you paranoid, it just makes you safe. Some people have gone even further, though, by deleting the Facebook app from their phones because they believe Mark Zuckerberg and his cronies are secretly listening in on their conversations. Facebook has made it clear that they do not spy on people’s conversations, but then how do they seem to advertise the perfect ads to you, even if you haven’t googled it before?
Taking them at face value, let’s assume Facebook doesn’t listen in on your conversations. The main way they can tailor such specific ads to you is through location targeting. Using your computer’s IP address, they can easily find out where you are or which parts of town you frequent. They can also use the data you provide anytime you use a GPS app on your phone. Now, the ads that appear on your Facebook are frighteningly specific to your home or your work or your brother’s girlfriend’s college roommate’s house, which is where you were last night, but haven’t actually mentioned to anyone.
While this may still sound like an invasion of privacy, most of the data they get is handed to them by you yourself. Researchers say it only takes eight likes to determine many factors about a person, including political affiliation, intelligence, and whether or not they smoke.
Facebook might be up to something, but you are definitely leading the battle in providing data they can use to give you ads. If you want to be completely off the grid, invest in a tent.