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Is Siri spying on me? Apps on my iPad began playing Spanish ads after conversations at home

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USA Today
February 3, 2020

I watch most TV shows and movies on my iPad these days, and something strange happened recently.

My iPad – or rather apps such as Hulu and Bravo linked via Apple TV on my iPad – started showing me commercials in Spanish.

That was interesting, since I hadn’t touched the language settings, watched any shows in Spanish, or done any kind of internet activity in another language. But even more curious, was what had changed when the new commercials popped up.

We had just moved to a more Spanish-speaking area of Oakland, California. While I don’t speak Spanish (very well at least), my husband does and was doing so daily with contractors in our new house within “earshot” of my iPad.

Could this timing and sudden sprinkling of Spanish commercials for insurance, seatbelt safety, and affordable college degrees be mere coincidence? Or was it a clear sign of location-based tracking? With Siri voice-assistance active, is my gadget, or the TV apps on it, specifically working to better predict my wants and needs – and providing Spanish speaking commercials – to be more “helpful?”

Like so many other people who’ve mentioned a product in conversation only to see it pop up in an ad on Facebook the next day, I’ve long wondered if, why, and how exactly, my gadgets are “listening,” to my life.

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This article was posted: Monday, February 3, 2020 at 5:32 am

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