This is Behind the Blog, where we share our behind-the-scenes thoughts about how a few of our top stories of the week came together. This week, we discuss the media giant that claimed to have technology that can actively listen to consumers through their devices.
JOSEPH: I’m going to talk about why publishing a company’s wild claims can be in the public interest even when you don’t have all of the facts.
On Thursday, we published the piece Sam mentioned up top called Marketing Company Claims That It Actually Is Listening to Your Phone and Smart Speakers to Target Ads. Definitely go read the full story for all of the context, and just because it’s mad too. But in short: a company says it is doing the thing that many, many people have (incorrectly) believed for years, which is that our phones or smart TVs or smart speakers are listening to our everyday conversations in order to generate marketing data and then target ads at us.