Highly rated US-based Kenyan journalist Larry Madowo was on Wednesday morning served with one of Facebook's speialised features.
Facebook recently started showing ads to its users depending on what they need and where they are based. For instance, if you are based in Kenya but you got an interest in English Premier League, number of adverts from the league will popping up on your screen that are hard to ignore.
According to the former NTV news anchor, he received an French advert through Facebook few hours after he had talked to his nephew in French.
Larry could however never tell whether his phone was to blame or not. He only wondered if the phone was listening
"I explained to my little nephew last night - in French - that I live in the US not Kenya. This morning, I’m getting this weirdly specific ad on Facebook.Is my phone listening to me?," Larry wondered.
In last year August, several Facebook users took to Twitter and raised concerns with Facebook. Most of them said Facebook was listening to their private conversations thus able to know about their lifestyle and adverts that suit them.
However sometime last year, Facebook denied using phones' microphones to listen to its users, instead, they said they advertise basing on user's bio.
They then added that when a user permits Facebook app to use phone microphone, this enables Facebook to listen to your phone calls.
"We show ads based on people’s interests and other profile information – not what you’re talking out loud about.
"We only access your microphone if you have given our app permission and if you are actively using a specific feature that requires audio," Facebook said as quoted by The Sun.
Larry added that he has been using Incognito mode while vising the web but still gets adverts depending on where he is based and the language he would use.
"Whenever I look up flights or hotels, I use Incognito mode. In a different browser. 9/10 times I still get ads for those destinations on my feed. I’ve accepted this as a fact of life. But I’m concerned about more of my ads seemingly based on ‘offline’ conversations," he added.