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I think my laptop is spying on me

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Newer Dave, Sep 16, 2018 at 1:11 PM.

  1. Newer Dave

    Newer Dave

    Sep 12, 2018
    London, UK
    Earlier today I was listening to a Neil Young album on a CD (Harvest, since you asked). Later I listened to a load of other crap on youtube - Cocteau Twins, a bunch of ska tunes, some Happy Mondays, Primal Scream and dance pop from the 80s. Ended up enjoying some Sigur Rós (which is still on as it happens).

    Sat in the middle of all the things youtube's album recommended for me is a Neil Young track - but I only listened to that on a CD - not on youtube.

    I have now disabled the microphone but I think my computer is spying on me. :eek:
    saabfender likes this.
  2. Newer Dave

    Newer Dave

    Sep 12, 2018
    London, UK
    Should I have put this in off-topic?

    If so, can a mod move it for me?

  3. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Did you play the CD via the laptop? Or on a standalone CD player?

    Have you previously listened to Neil Young or Harvest or anything in his catalog while on a mobile or desktop device? Even if it was years ago? I ask because sometimes YT suggests things for me that I lost interest in a long time ago. It knows things.
    fretter likes this.
  4. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    I asked my son about this recently (He works for Apple).

    He scoffs, I frown, pretty much the metier of our relationship, but still....

    Have had similar experiences...wondering what is the impact of it all?
    matante likes this.
  5. You need to disable your internet connection. That’s how “they” “listen” to you.
  6. Newer Dave

    Newer Dave

    Sep 12, 2018
    London, UK
    Listened to the NY on a standalone CD player. No internet connection or wi-fi.

    I don't recall listening to it on youtube. If I ever have it will have been many years ago.

    The album I was listening to was Harvest. The song that was recommended was Harvest Moon. It had no connection, as far as I know, to the songs I was listening to on youtube. I just thank God I haven't got one of those Alexa things. It's all a bit too 1984. Why would you invite something that listens to everything you say into your house.

    I might have made some comments about political assassination into the microphone before I disabled it for sh*ts and giggles. If I stop posting in the next few days pls enquire after me at the UK secret services. The black helicopters are coming...
    fhm555, retslock and musicman666 like this.
  7. Newer Dave

    Newer Dave

    Sep 12, 2018
    London, UK
    You didn't care for those versus threads then? :D
    wmhill likes this.
  8. Privacy is a thing of the past. It was nice while it lasted. Freedom may or may not be overrated, but it's best not to risk commenting out loud.
    JRA, bholder, IamGroot and 4 others like this.
  9. This. If you played the CD on your computer, you can bet there are search bots sophisticated enough to sniff your PC user activity history and find out, then target you with a related ad during your next internet visit.

    Skynet is here folks. I am backing away from my dependence on the internet in any way possible. My days here on TB are numbered (to the joy of some, no doubt ;)).
  10. Newer Dave

    Newer Dave

    Sep 12, 2018
    London, UK
    Played it on a standalone Cambridge Audio CD player through my old Nad 3020 amp. No internets there. Probably wasn't even invented.
    Bassbeater likes this.
  11. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    CDs usually (though not always) contain metadata about their contents so players can display the track name etc. When the CD is read by the laptop or other computer, the metadata on the CD will be transferred & saved. That's where YT could find it.

    Forgot to ask: OS? Browser? just wondering.
  12. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    I'm often amazed at how spot-on YouTube can be in regard to its recommendations, but I can always easily trace them to other things I've watched on YouTube. I realize that "they" are always listening, that privacy is a thing of the past, etc. -- but in this case I'm doubtful that somehow YouTube knew about a CD you had played on a standalone system. Might be technically possible, but I'm dubious. It's pretty eerie, but sometimes a coincidence is just a coincidence.
    pcake likes this.
  13. Newer Dave

    Newer Dave

    Sep 12, 2018
    London, UK
    Reading it when it hasn't been inserted is a pretty neat trick.
    Bassbeater and Lobster11 like this.
  14. Sometimes the EULA gives all sorts of access to speakers, folders, account info, history, microphones, cameras, etc. Some data is gathered through services that aggregate between multiple devices.
    Tyranny arrives in the form of convenience.
    PWRL, retslock, musicman666 and 2 others like this.
  15. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    ever go to google something random and two letters in to typing it not the search box it shows up ?
    PWRL, Newer Dave and Bassbeater like this.
  16. Newer Dave

    Newer Dave

    Sep 12, 2018
    London, UK
    It's easy to identify a song if they have a sample of it. I hardly ever listen to Neil Young as it happens. I'm not a particular fan of that music or that era. I just put it on for a change. I was listening almost exclusively to 80s stuff today and can't remember when I last played the Neil Young CD, but it was quite a while ago.

    VERY big coincidence. It's a lot easier for me to believe that the 'puter's microphone picked it up and sent it back to the data processors at google. The settings in my browser (Opera - ad blocker switched on) denied access to my microphone but it was switched on in my OS (Windows 10). I've now switched it off completely in the OS.
    electracoyote and Lobster11 like this.
  17. Newer Dave

    Newer Dave

    Sep 12, 2018
    London, UK
    The prison comfortable enough that most people don't realise it's being built around them? Agreed. I don't like to think on it too much though. That way lies madness.
  18. +1 The next thing to look at is your camera and microphone settings.

    Just recently they discovered that those devices on some flat screen HD TV's in people's living and bedrooms were capable of spying on them.

    It's insidious. Diabolical even. Not kidding. The world is being seriously fubared.
  19. Try to imagine why all of this real-time and nearly real-time data could be so valuable. It's a rewarding exercise.
    Newer Dave likes this.
  20. Newer Dave

    Newer Dave

    Sep 12, 2018
    London, UK
    I put tape over the camera before I switched the thing on, the first day I took it out of the box. When you see that Zuckerberg has tape over his laptop camera you realise this shizzle aint no joke. Switched the mic off in the OS today. I thought I already had but actually it was only in the browser. Permissions can be overridden. It's probably somewhere in the terms and conditions of using some of these sites that they can access anything on your machine - we just don't read it.

    I stopped using apps on my phone altogether when I realised how many of them were asking for access to my address book, my microphone and my camera. F**k em all. I'm strictly 2g and only use it for phone calls now. Internet is switched off on that thing.
    Qlanq, Grumry, mikewalker and 3 others like this.

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