For a long time I was very skeptical about all sorts of myths and legends about wiretapping, surveillance and conspiracy of OEMs. This topic did not bother me somehow and did not bother me.

But exactly until I personally encountered the fact that my smartphone constantly eavesdrops on me. And he does it, it seems, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

At first, you don’t pay attention. Then you begin to notice very strange coincidences. In the end, you clearly understand that the Android operating system, in conjunction with a very friendly MIUI shell from Xiaomi, frankly “herds” you with one goal – to show you the most relevant advertising.

What’s the device?

Rejecting the iPhone, I chose a very gray (both in terms of market positioning and body color) Xiaomi Redmi Note 4x Android smartphone.

Adequate gadget for adequate money. It has been working smoothly for more than six months and, in principle, has never failed.

Having tried a dozen different versions of operating systems, from Android 6.0 to the “naked eight”, I decided to return to the regular MIUI. Now this is the current ninth version of the system. In addition to nice features and innovations, it seems that the developers have also worked on the algorithm for collecting user information.

I would not like to breed demagoguery, but I will simply tell you about three separate cases that happened to me personally, and which make you think.

Case one. Smartphone knows what you’re talking about

Viber, WhatsApp, Messenger – the companies responsible for all these messengers assure that they do not transfer user data to third parties. I do not believe!

In mid-January, my childhood friend got into trouble. Ice, snow, hardened tyres, braking distance too long, and his newly acquired Seat has a broken headlight.

For a couple of days we discussed possible repair options. We agreed that it would be better to look at the notice boards for a similar headlight from a donor. And here is an important point: I never looked for information about headlights in the search and did not open ads on this topic.

I remember this for sure, because all the discussions were conducted by phone – they just dialed each other and talked. Not a word about “headlight replacement in Moscow”, “optics repair is cheap” or “optics restoration for three kopecks”. By the way, we live in different cities and “our IP certainly did not intersect.”

A friend ordered Faro, it was delivered. And then during the week I got all sorts of banners dedicated to auto-optics.

In Chrome, in Safari on a Mac, in YouTube videos…

Second case. Smartphone hears what you are discussing

You can talk about how luxurious the updated BMW 7 looks, how nice it would be to have a holiday in Sochi this summer, or how cool Nikon’s new DSLR is.

My wife and I discussed a children’s chest of drawers, a crib and furniture. It didn’t come to a search on the net, and I’m 100% sure of this. The browser history of our laptops and smartphones does not contain a single search query or mention on this topic.

But targeted advertising is right there – “the best furniture from the manufacturer”, “the most reliable pendulum mechanisms in the country”, etc.

And the case is not the only one.

This is not the first time I find myself thinking that what I am talking about, my smartphone then turns into pop-up banners and advertisements.

Case three. Smartphone knows what you are writing

Almost daily I correspond with a techie friend. We discuss all kinds of projects, master numerical control, Arduino, 3D printing and modeling together.

We communicate either via Skype or via Viber. Just a couple of weeks ago, they started talking about a mass spectrometer. An amazing thing that allows you to analyze what exactly this or that material consists of.

Discussed exclusively in Viber (Skype – for working hours, but there were days off). They joked, dreamed about “what if we could build something like this”. Of course, no one went to Google and no one asked Yandex anything. So, the sick fantasies of two men turned on technology.

We talked and forgot.

And after a couple of days I began to notice banners with all kinds of analyzers of air, water, vitamin meters. No, there was no smell of a mass spectrometer there, but if you delve into the essence of each device, you understand that someone “heard a ringing, but did not understand where it was.”

This is someone – my smartphone, who stuck his nose into my correspondence and personal life this time too.

It’s just some kind of Xiaomi

Yes, yes, I’m already looking forward to comments like “throw a bucket into a bucket” or “what did you want from Andryushka.” But I’m sure that almost every reader is familiar with this platform and uses an Android device.

Moreover, I came across a similar story when I raced for the newly released iPhone almost every year.

Sometimes one gets the feeling that someone two-faced lives in our family. The one you constantly carry with you, the one you carry in your arms and place with confidence on the bedside table. And someone who carefully listens and monitors every word you say or write. Your smartphone.

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