The tech devices spying on your everyday conversations
The technology that is supposed to make our lives easier has a dark side.
Phones, smartwatches and voice-controlled home speaker systems are listening to conversations and many users of these devices don’t even know it's happening.
Ben Wheeler, from Perth, believes his smartwatch has listened in on a conversation he had with his wife in bed.
"We were discussing having children again and basically it started coming up on my phone, which I have never looked at, the wife brought up the conversation," he said.
Mr Wheeler said less than 24 hours later, he experienced an influx of advertising on his own phone.
"Baby ads, like buying a pram or going to places, child places to play, daycare centres," he said.
One US family discovered their Amazon Echo had recorded them and then sent the audio files to a friend.
Amazon said that was a glitch, but in many cases, conversations are recorded on the devices and stored by the tech giants.
Lawyers say Australia's Surveillance Devices Act provides little protection because by using the technology we are effectively signing our rights away.
"If you've got your Google Home all wired up in every single room, how could you say your conversation was private?" solicitor Kylie Cheong said.
Dr David Glance, director of UWA Centre for Software Practise, agreed the devices are impacting privacy.
"Anyone could go into a person’s profile and see what is being stored, knowing we have to rely on the companies themselves to protect that information," he said.
Terms and conditions allow data and even conversations to be used for advertising purposes by a range of apps.
Amazon and Google can store your actions made through commands to home-speakers.
Facebook collects information through GPS, cameras and daily activities.
"Facebook does not listen in to conversations through its apps," a Facebook spokesperson told 9NEWS.
"We only access your microphone if you have given our app permission and if you are actively using a specific feature that requires audio – for example recording a video or using an optional feature we introduced two years ago to include music or other audio in your status updates.
"We show ads based on people's interests and other profile information – not what you're talking out loud about."
Here’s a how-to guide to revoke access or data storage from your microphone:
1. Go to settings app
2. Scroll to the app you want to revoke microphone access
3. Turn off the slider for microphone so it goes grey instead of green
1. Go to settings
2. Swipe over to "personal"
3. Tap "privacy and safety"
4. Tap "app permissions"
5. Tap "microphone"
6. Find the app you want to revoke microphone access and turn the slider to OFF
1. Go into your Alexa app
2. Select settings
3. Go to "Manage Your Content and Devices" in your Amazon account
4. Find Echo under devices
5. Select "Manage Voice Recordings"
1. Go to myactivity.google.com
2. Click on the three dots in the top corner
3. Select "delete activity by"
4. Find "Voice and Audio"