Can my phone read my thoughts? – NRK Norway – Overview of news from different parts of the country

Can my phone read my thoughts?  – NRK Norway – Overview of news from different parts of the country

In the old days, we only used mobile phones to call each other. But in 2008 everything changed.

App Store And Google Play Store It started offering apps that collect data about us.

Some will wonder if their smartphones have become too smart; If they carry one around Spy in your pocket.

Mobile developer Ingrid-Alice Bløtekjær and Director General of the Norwegian Data Association Hege Svendsen answer five questions on the topic.

How well does my mobile phone know about me?

Photo: Muhaisen Desert/NRK

Your phone knows you well through the apps you use and the information you leave behind.

For example, a mobile phone can “understand” what you like, where you are, what you search for online, who you talk to, how you feel about your health and what you spend your money on.

Should one worry?

– No, because as an app developer, I have too many restrictions on what I'm allowed to do with data. And because you can influence the data you share through your choice of settings and app use, Bloetjer says.

– Yes, it is alarming how much cell phones collect about us. Although we can influence the data we share, this requires experience and overview that not all users have, says Svendsen.

Can my mobile phone hear or film me without me knowing?

Ingrid-Alice Plotekjaer
Photo: Muhaisen Desert/NRK

Yes she can.

Svendsen says someone could use your mobile phone to film you if they take control using special software or trick you Phishing.

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– This can also happen through public Wi-Fi, Mobile network It says: “Your own or Bluetooth, for example, but not limited to.”

But if no outsider has taken over your phone, it depends on the permissions you have granted to your apps.

Bløtekjær says that services, which have given your consent to record audio or images, will be able to do so while using the service. But they don't collect audio and video when you're not using the service.

– Everyone who provides a service wants to get something in exchange for you being able to benefit from his service. She says they want data.

They can use the data themselves or Sell ​​it For others to understand you better, improve their services, or show you ads that are particularly relevant to you.

Why do I see ads related to the conversations I just had?

Ingrid-Alice Plotekjaer
Photo: Muhaisen Desert/NRK

Because the algorithms notice that you are physically or digitally close to someone who is interested in something. They assume that you might also be interested in the same thing.

If you've ever talked to a friend about watches without actually looking up watches online, chances are your friend has done so.

Location data on your phone also shows that you've been near a watch store. In addition, you are approximately the same age, have the same gender or live in the same city.

-You're connected to that person online, and algorithms can pick up on a shared interest, says Plotekjaer.

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Just as we used to receive ads in local newspapers, ads now follow us, based on traces of our online activity, explains Svendsen.

If you leave the ad on the screen for a few seconds or click on it, you will get more of the same type of ad.

– If you just scroll, you won't see the same thing again multiple times, Bløtekjær says.

Should I stop Siri?

Ingrid-Alice Plotekjaer
Photo: Muhaisen Desert/NRK

It's up to you.

– When voice assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant start speaking themselves, it's because they think you've spoken to them, says Bløtekjær.

This happens because they are “listening” with low energy consumption and waiting for you to say their wake word. It could be, for example, “Hey Siri” or “Okay, Google.”

– What you say when you activate the Assistant is recorded and can be saved. She says this data is usually anonymized and encrypted.

Svendsen recommends turning off voice assistants if you're concerned about your privacy, or only using them when truly necessary.

But if you value the ability to easily text and search the web while driving, for example, Bløtekjær thinks it's practical to turn on the voice assistant.

What can I do to protect my privacy while maintaining my smartphone?

Ingrid-Alice Plotekjaer
Photo: Muhaisen Desert/NRK

It's almost impossible to avoid data collection on your smartphone, but you can make choices that reduce it.

– Pay special attention to social media apps, light bulbs, and games. They often ask for permission to use data that is not related to the app's function, says Ingrid-Alice Plotiker.

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Here is her advice to you:

  • Review app access regularly in Settings.

  • Update your mobile phone and apps to protect against security vulnerabilities.

  • Stick to official app stores like Google Play Store and App Store.

  • Do research into whether the company you are providing data to has a good and understandable privacy policy.

  • Disable location services when they are not required.

  • Use a browser instead of an app Browsers often provide more privacy controls than native apps.

  • Use ad blockers and enable tracking protection in your browser.

  • Hidden mode It can reduce online tracking, but it's not a comprehensive solution.


Are you using an old-fashioned mobile phone instead of a smartphone? Are you doing it because you're concerned about your privacy?

Then I would like to talk to you.

communication! ☎️🕊️

04/21/2024 at 21.46

04/21/2024 at 22.40

Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

"Web specialist. Lifelong zombie maven. Coffee ninja. Hipster-friendly analyst."

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