THE SNUGBUS EXPRESS

Unless there's a cellphone in the room

You might be safe if you only have the bare minimum on a phone, but otherwise any app installed, other crap it has installed, or even upgrades further enabling the spyware capability that Google might push out on any Android phone just needs to listen to report what you are watching. Very easy to pattern match partial audio now against fixed known samples of programs and ads. Same thing with any of the "audio assistants" like Amazon Alexa, but I think people are more aware those are listening.

Classic case of this (generic listening but not programming detection) 3 years ago, friend has Tom Petty music channel playing through his TV and some mention is made of adult beverages including some wife-related reference to piña colada. Two songs later the f-ing Piña Colada Song (which I hate several times more than actual piña coladas) plays... on the Tom Petty channel. Either his phone or the smart TV was obviously listening and tied back into the web-based audio channels he had. I would not be surprised if his browser started serving up more ads for tropical vacations, etc.

It's difficult to avoid but some people just invite it in the door with the combination of services they use and the access (like phone location data) they require to install, or just practically require to function (like phone based navigation).

I also dropped DishTV last month and tuned up a roof antenna installation as content degraded and cost went up. Partially the content political bias BIO described, and partially the decay of nearly all the documentary channels I used to enjoy. I was going to drop it as soon as warm weather hit this spring but COVID + mobs caused me to hold on to the additional news channels a little longer.

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