Am I paranoid? Re: laptop camera

Okay, guys, this was strange. Last night I had an itchy, itchy eye. I sat in front of my laptop, rubbing it and weeping.

This morning I went into some of the usual sites and got drop-down ads for…eye drops.

Now it is not unusual for me to get linked ads to things I’ve been googling. It’s annoying, when I’ve just bought something online or posted a review, to get ads for the same thing–hey guys, I’ve already bought this–but it wasn’t particulary scary.

This eye drop thing? Freaked me out. I mean, what are the odds? I was not googling eye drops, because I have eye drops. I was merely sitting in front of my computer with an itchy eye.

I didn’t accidentally fat-finger an eye-drop ad either, because I’ve never seen one before.

I also know that OK Google can hear everything I say (for instance even if I don’t have google on my phone at the moment if I say “OK Google” it comes up) but that it doesn’t pay attention to everything I say but only certain words (much like my dog). BUT, I did not say that my eye was itchy. I didn’t say anything.

So, coincidence? Or is Big Data actually watching me on my laptop? (I now have a piece of tape on the camera. Is that enough?)

If this is true, I must be having religious fears. I get a lot of free bible ads. Just saying.

No, tape won’t do it. They are in your head.

Probably just a coincidence and an example of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon (aka Frequency Illusion…where you start noticing things that seem to weirdly coincide with something you recently saw/did).

Still, if you are worried you can buy a cheap camera cover for your laptop (or just tape some paper over it yourself).

Did you talk about your eye (even if you were just muttering it to yourself). You mentioned OK Google, but I still firmly believe that google is listening and using what it hears for ads and suggestions. Far too often, I can be talking about something that I’ve never looked up on any device and google will auto fill exactly what I’m looking for based on the first letter I type.

It would take enormous amount of resources for an AI (or a real human) to monitor you like that and mind read based off you rubbing your eye. More than they could possibly make by hawking you eye drops. It’s a coincidence.

Yeah, seriously, who has time to sit around spying on everyone’s whim or thought? Who’s got that kind of resources or will power?
OTOH, if I win powerball, I will. (dun, dun dun!)

You can see specifically what audio of yours Google has at (and you can delete some or all of it there if you are concerned about it).

Any chance you and several million other people are allergic to ragweed?

Ah…well I feel a little better now! 'Tis the season.

You can really worry when your computer tells you to remove the f**king tape from its camera.

Last January I went to my oncologist to get the results of my bone scan. It appears my cancer has metastasized. The doctor couldn’t really say what my prognosis was though it is in the years range based on current techniques.

On my way out to the car, I got a cell phone call offering me a burial plot. (I’d never had one of those before.) I was really freaked out. Then I realized I was carrying my wife’s cell phone that day – so if they are good, they are very, very good.

My brother freaked out when anti virus software (free avast) turned on camera showing himself in front of laptop with notice that basically went “anyone can see you, if you not upgrade your anti virus to full license”. I found it both mildly funny and bizarre to an extend. He has his camera now eyepatched.

You know, I remember seeing both James Comey and Mark Zuckerberg interviewed, and their laptop computers had tape over the camera lens.

I thought those guys just might know something I don’t, and since I don’t use my webcam, I followed suit.

If I need to Skype someone, I can remove it easily.

I bought a Dell all in one a few months ago. The built in camera is on a little pop up piece that drops down into the frame when the camera’s not in use.

My nephew reassured everyone that computers can’t be spying on us very effectively based on the number of ads he gets offering to hook him up with the Hot Single Ladeez in his area.

He’s gay.

What the heck? Have you people never heard of ad-blockers?

I can’t imagine how anyone could stand browsing withoutuBlock origin.

No tape over my camera.

I pity the poor bastard who stumbles across my slack-jawed mopey face as I pull up MPSIMS for the 20th time that day.

I consulted with my dermatologist in person about removing some benign lesions. The next day, I received a spam email
for cheap lesion removal. :frowning:

The camera thing is not presently an advertising issue. Just a possible privacy issue. But google does know about your location, and your friends and family.

I haven’t got any advertisements for itchy eye relief: I’m not in a location where that is presently relevant.

… It is not entirely outside the bounds of belief that google has decided that phones that hang out around oncologists are targets for funeral plots.

You and your family have my sympathy.