Is apple now reading my keyboard inputs?

I‘m a little shocked rn. I am using fluffychat on ios since my legacy iphone is still working and I dont want to throw it out until its done.

But this happened the first time: I wrote „then I might need to take a taxi“ to someone and an installed taxi app immediately popped up via notifications saying „get off 25% today“ or something.

This freaks me out big time since it could mean every word I write on this phone gets checked by something/someone.

Anyone else? (It was literally the second I wrote the sentence)

Starbuck ,

Do you have location tracking turned on? I feel like a few times when people looked into this, it came down to the Taxi app having location sharing on (so the app can show you fairs, of course) and that the fact that you wrote something about needing a taxi is irrelevant because the app knows you are someplace where you might need a taxi.

And maybe someone nearby you who also had the same Taxi app had just booked a trip. They can correlate your location and people around you.

haui_lemmy OP , avatar

I checked. No. It only has location when the app is in use (which it hasnt been for months), to add to this, I was at home at the time and not on the move. I have however been on the move a couple days before (which the app cant see without location) and nothing happened.

intensely_human ,

“I might need a blowjob”

teawrecks ,

"Click here to talk to hot singles in your area!"

TenderfootGungi ,

If you are using a third party keyboard, the company that makes it can see every keystroke. It is why Apple did not allow them for a long time.

haui_lemmy OP , avatar

Are you talking about a hardware keyboard or an app? I was using the on screen keyboard I used from day one.

M137 , avatar

You're trying your hardest to have grandma level understanding of any of this...

They mean third party software keyboard, which you said you are using. You chose to use that and Apple doesn't have anything to do with that.

It's like you're trying to show everyone how incredibly dumb you are.

haui_lemmy OP , avatar

You‘re the reason people hate on lemmy. Disgusting attitude. Blocked.

tsonfeir , avatar

Apple does not sell your data to a taxi app. Apple does not transmit your keystrokes.

FluffyChat, according to their privacy page, uses FireBase for Push notifications. If the message content is transmitted through them, and the taxi app uses firebase too, they could—theoretically—associate your data with both accounts and push you ads for another service on behalf of the taxi app.

It’s probably just a coincidence… and I’d be alarmed too, but I’d start blaming other companies before Apple, as they tend to horde your data for their own use, not sell it. Apple hates sharing.

haui_lemmy OP , avatar

Possible but statistically unlikely. No push notifications of this kind for days before despite heavy use of the phone, then the second I write this one sentence it shows.

The push provider would be one possible or siri which also suggests apps based on usage data and tried to complete my sentences in mastodon, which also irritates me.

tsonfeir , avatar

I really think it was coincidence. But, it’s something to keep in mind.

haui_lemmy OP , avatar

Absolutely possible, I agree.

Funny that a lot of folks seem to disagree with my statement about statistical probability. Its like the difference between illegal and wrong. A huge amount of people I met think that things that are legal are also correct and vice versa, like slavery once was for example. It’s scary to them that things might be different/worse than they seem.

Have a good one.

Bitrot , avatar

Nice tangent.

I think people might find it interesting how one thing is statistically unlikely but the likely coincidence is… probably Apple spying on your keystrokes. Human pattern matching strikes again.

haui_lemmy OP , avatar

I dont speak sarcasm so if you were implying something you didnt write, I didnt catch it.

From experience with big tech, it is actually not unthinkable that we dont know the extent of their actions. Of course it is more likely that someone would have caught this if it is going on for some time but it also is possible that stuff is evolving, just backwards.

Bitrot , avatar

It is. It is also possible that out of the thousands of people who received a notification, you happened to be typing something about a similar subject and nobody else found it odd in the least bit.

haui_lemmy OP , avatar

Absolutely. I agree that this is possible. My point here being that it being a coincidence (in our current climate with consumer surveillance being on an all time high) isnt that likely anymore.

moreeni ,

Always has been.

gregorum , avatar

No. If someone is telling you that Apple is doing that, they are lying to you. Demand proof, because no one can provide that. Because Apple is not doing that, and if they’re telling you they are, they are lying.

JohnnyCanuck , avatar

Prove it

thepreciousboar ,

If you demand proof to state they do, you should provide proof when stating they don't. It's not like Apple is the most trustworthy company in the world. With big tech it's always reasonable (definitely not certain) to assume they could be spying on your activity, and unless you are able to download your software source code, check it and compile it yourself, it's almost impossible to tell.

Juno ,

That's a burden of proof fallacy. 😕

It's no one's job to prove the opposite. The burden is on the initial claim.

TheEntity ,

The only thing we know without a proof is that they might be doing it. We don't have a proof they do it but we also don't have any proof they are incapable of doing so. A reasonable course of action would be to take precautions against it while not condemning them either, until they are either proven actually guilty or actively unwilling to up their security, which would also strongly imply the former.

SinAdjetivos ,

From an article about a recent lawsuit

The App Store appeared to harvest information about every single thing you did in real time, including what you tapped on, which apps you search for, what ads you saw, and how long you looked at a given app and how you found it. The app sent details about you and your device as well, including ID numbers, what kind of phone you’re using, your screen resolution, your keyboard languages, how you’re connected to the internet—notably, the kind of information commonly used for device fingerprinting.

Notably, knowing keyboard language and monitoring tap locations allows for reconstruction of text the user types (as detailed in this article

I do think you are correct that Apple probably isn't actively keylogging every iOS device (just because there's easier ways with less legal concerns that ultimately get the same outcomes), but it's not like there's "no evidence".

haui_lemmy OP , avatar

While I get the initial claim that proof is necessary, your argument is self-evident as well.

Nobody can provide proof does not mean its not true, just that its not proven. Its very suspicious that I got this notification the exact second I wrote the text and no other notifications for days before and after.

It is statistically very likely that someone or something triggered this in that moment. Either on the phone through siri for example who is supposed to select apps by usage, in the chat app (unlikely because open source) or in the notification provider, as mentioned by another commenter.

gregorum , avatar

So you admit that you can’t back up your claims. Don’t expect reasonable or rational people to believe you. 

haui_lemmy OP , avatar

Are you joking? When did I claim anything? I said this happened, not that I know why.

TheEntity ,

Until it's proven the data is E2E encrypted, it's a fair assumption it can be read by a 3rd party, either now or in the future. E2EE is the only proof that matters, everything else is just a corporate "trust me bro".

PeroBasta ,

Had similar experiences. Check my post history. I got shit on by the apple community tho.

haui_lemmy OP , avatar

I‘m not seeing any posts that suggest you were in a similar situation. Feel free to send a link to the post.

doctorzeromd , (edited )

I think they're referring to this

Though from my reading of it it seems like they got a pretty clear explanation on the top post about what was going on, it doesn't sound like OP's situation.

I'm very anti-apple, but PeroBasta's post doesn't seem like apple is doing anything weird.

haui_lemmy OP , avatar

Thats why I didnt see it. The post for some reason didnt show on my instance and then got loaded in between. Lemmy and federation… anyway, I also recognized this recently and my wife actually changed a setting while I was driving and since it disappeared.

willya , avatar

Are you sure you didn’t have a boomer moment and accidentally spotlight search the taxi app?

haui_lemmy OP , avatar

That would be my first but not impossible I guess. I rechecked. Nope, I wrote a message and this popped up. None of these for days before and now hours after despite heavy use of the phone.

weeeeum ,

Yes, of course haha. Apple is as much of a data company as Google or Facebook, but they pretend to be privacy centric. Their "privacy" reputation comes from preventing apps from tracking your and limiting their data collection.

This isn't for the good of the consumer, it simply gives apple a monopoly on data of their customers, that they can sell for a pretty penny.

If you want a truly privacy focused iPhone you likely have to jailbreak it. Either that or get an android phone and install graphene OS or other privacy centric off shoots of android OS.

Remember, if a company owns the operating system, you're being tracked. Happens just as much on windows and Mac. They'll even track what you say, and give you recommendations based on that.

gregorum , avatar

Provide proof or STFU

SuckMyWang ,

Isn’t it a bit like how I ate a sandwich today? I know I ate a sandwich but there’s no proof of it. I am still allowed to talk about eating a sandwich even though there’s no proof. Did I mention how I ate a sandwich today?

Also this is a bad example because I’m actually lying about the sandwich. I never ate a sandwich. But you get the point.

Helix ,

you didn't eat any sandwiches, liar. 🙃

thrawn , (edited )

Not really. You’re making an allegation with no evidence, then incorrectly comparing it to you proving something you yourself may have done. That wouldn’t work if you were merely claiming someone else ate a sandwich, much less something like this.

An exercise— some taxi company made the app with publicly available software. A lot of Lemmy users seem to be developers and know how the notification system works for iOS. Is it then:

  • Apple tracks all sentences typed and lets every single app know when something related to its purpose is typed so a notification can be served? And every single app developer in existence has hidden this knowledge?

  • Apple tracks all sentences typed and lets specific apps know when something related to its purpose is typed? Why would they give this data to a taxi company and not larger companies that drive more profit? If they did give it to taxi companies and up, how do they prevent whistleblowers? Privacy intrusion on this level would be massive. People will leak military secrets to prove a point in video games, but not this?

  • Apple tracks all sentences typed and only lets this taxi company know when “I need a taxi” is typed? This would be safest because it reduces the chance of a leak. And yet also tremendously risky to give this data to a taxi company, which probably isn’t overly secure, when this information leaking would cost them shareholder-angering amounts of money and poor press.

This conspiracy is moon-landing-is-fake levels of implausible. It would require airtight security and a level of secret keeping that humans are simply not capable of. No disgruntled employee of any company would have leaked this? Apple would risk meteoric reputation damage to slightly drive in app purchases that they’d then get a 30% cut of? Be serious.

I hate defending any corporation but the flat earth level conspiracies I see upvoted on Lemmy— with zero proof, or even waving away the thought of proof!— would be laughed at anywhere else. These takes also delegitimize real criticism because there may yet be something relatively implausible that they are doing, and noise like this muddies the water. Why not discuss the actual unethical things Apple does, of which there are many, instead of making stuff up?

Edit: oops, you did not make the allegation, merely defended it. I’d split this up into two separate criticisms for maximum effectiveness (the other one for the confidently-said zero-proof conspiracy, and this one for the implication that evidence for conspiracies is unnecessary) but no one’s gonna read it anyway so whatever.

panicnow ,

I read it….

thrawn ,

Well shit, thanks. I used to do this (being long comments) on Reddit but long comments naturally filter out some readers. Which I get, cause sometimes I’m not looking to read a whole thing too, so it never offended me.

People on Lemmy seem to have longer attention spans though, shouldn’t be too surprised. This site has me returning to older habits of thinking through comments and spending almost 20 minutes typing haha, back on the other site I just stopped commenting in the years before the API changes since I’ve never been the type for quippy one liners. So yeah weirdly thanks, odd how it kind of feels nice to have these read again. I obv can’t text monologue irl (cause it’s not text) and I’m one for brevity with text messages

SecretPancake ,

Your example should be someone else claims that you ate a sandwich but you did not. Even if you keep saying you hate sandwiches and no one ever saw you do it. But everyone else eats sandwiches, so how could you not.

haui_lemmy OP , avatar

As funny as this is to you, many are working on getting these corpos to back down. I already handed in a privacy complaint this month against apple which is currently being pursued by the State Office for Data Protection Supervision (a machine translated this).

If this is actually something we can prove somehow, we‘re probably putting a new record for class action lawsuits in the guinness book.

TenderfootGungi ,

This is mostly not true. They are extremely privacy focused. The do keep some data on you but it is anonymized and not sold. For example, the maps app will keep the route, but randomly chops both ends off so there is not an exact start and stop. Siri sucks because it runs on devise instead of a server somewhere like all the rest. And they sell adds based on keywords in the App Store. But they do not collect and sell your data like the rest.

A big fear is a future new leadership team changing these policies for a quick cash grab. We need data privacy laws.

WeAreAllOne , avatar

Yeah what's the surprise there? Apple devices are known for their privacy practices....NOT!

tsonfeir , avatar


Vendul ,

Huh? Is this some random hate or is there proof? What mega corporation would be better?

WeAreAllOne , avatar

Try Pixel with GrapheneOS.

Bitrot , avatar

Just don’t ever communicate with the lead dev, and pray he doesn’t delete the update keys again.

WeAreAllOne , avatar

He quit like few months ago.

Bitrot , avatar

One would think if he quit like they said, his contributions would have also stopped.

haui_lemmy OP , avatar

The issue is that it is illegal and enforceable in the EU if I can prove it. So no, there is currently no proof that this has actually been done by apple and if it was, we‘d have a field day.

WeAreAllOne , avatar

You'd better read carefully the terms of service before you click on accept when you get a new device..

haui_lemmy OP , avatar

Yeah, no. Nobody does and companies cant just spy on you.

WeAreAllOne , avatar

Then you are naive by choice my dude. You should better read some relevant articles going on around for years.

haui_lemmy OP , avatar

I‘m not naive. I am entitled to human rights. There is a huge difference.

I simply wont accept that companies are allowed to do this and I‘m actively suing and working against this, every way I can, so are hundreds if not thousands of others.

So no, I dont need to read 10 or 100 pages of „contract“ just because a company wants me to not do it and blows up the contract. I sue and the company has to back down. With small companies this works immediately, with large ones we just need more folks with this mindset.

WeAreAllOne , avatar

What human rights have to do with private companies rights and terms of use. You use their product in the way they see fit and describe in their terms of service. What are you on about you suing a company without even reading the contract you accepted while using their product and services. What are you, 15 years of age??

haui_lemmy OP , avatar

So, before I block you for insulting and degrading language, here the explanation:

When you make business with companies, these companies have certain rights, same as you but not the same as you, the individual.

A company is overly powerful so consumer protection kicks in and forces them to treat you fairly. For example, they cant put something in their contracts that one sidedly benefits them and is bad for you (acting in bad faith). If they do this the contract becomes unenforceable.

Thats how I already sued a couple companies and continue to do so. The same goes for gdpr enforcement. If a company does stupid things with my data, I tell them to stop, let them send me all my data and then delete it. This is a massive amount of work for them and some have real issues with doing this. Also, if they dont they pay a large fine.

So, as you dont seem to know a lot about consumer protection, I hope you educate yourself and stop insulting folks.

Be better.

GammaGames , avatar

Try asking someone for money 😱

haui_lemmy OP , avatar

Are you saying this happened to your or someone you know?

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