26 votes

Sometimes Maybe it Would be Wise to Leave Your Cell Phone at Home

or keep it turned off.

Ok, this creeped me out. I went to a very close friend's wedding and barbeque reception on Sunday. The ceremony was small and I had my phone turned off while there. The reception was near my house, about 20 miles away and in their backyard. I turned my phone on the drive over. About 100 people showed up. I am friends with the bride and groom on my facebook, but have not posted on their pages in over a year and vice versa. I only knew about 12 people at the reception.

I brought my cell phone and left it on, but I did not get or send any calls, texts or take pictures. Today I go to my facebook page and almost all of the people who were at the reception...facebook is recommending them as friends for me.

I found that creepy. Has anyone else noticed anything like this before?

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its true that when the phone

its true that when the phone is off it isnt fully off as all the buttons are soft buttons. it's true that phones could be reprogrammed to behave as you describe however this type of behabior is not standard on the vast majority of phones. your location is not normally remotely trackable while the phone is off. if you say it is please provide evidence as such a finding would be of great interest to the security community.

It is.

And it's public knowledge available through google search. You can find it for yourself.

Android and iOS devices

Android and iOS devices dominate the market. Android source code is available, including the kernel that controls the hardware. iOS isn't open, but I know people who spend all their time reverse engineering it.

Which versions of which handsets ship with such vulnerability?

If it's so easy, please, post a link to a security advisory.

Or at least tell me, what should I Google for?

edit: Microsoft could silently update Windows to have your camera spy on you all the time. Are you also accusing them of doing so, without providing any evidence to support your claim?

I'd get rid of my phone

Before going to all that trouble.

I wouldn't write this off as

I wouldn't write this off as nothing. This happens to me all the time with Facebook. As recently as Easter I saw someone from high school who never shows up on my Facebook feed. They did that day. This happens often enough that I always notice it.

Why wouldn't Facebook do that? Gps is already activated it wouldn't be hard.

That's what I was thinking

The GPS.

Pictures from Wedding and Reception

It's likely that people had already posted pictures to facebook from the wedding and the reception. You were tagged in the photos along with other people there. Facebook seeing that you were tagged in the same album as the other people, recommended them as friends.

peace + liberty = prosperity


even if he was tagged,it will come up & tell him he was tegged.I worked for a major cell company for a couple yrs.I'm telling you,what caused it is data packets sending from a smart ph.It picked up on everyones that was doing so & whatever program they have now that recommends friends on FB,linked all who were at that location,at that time.

I have the privacy settings fixed so I can't be tagged.

I wasn't photographed, unless I was way off in the distance.

There's no indication that

There's no indication that Facebook does that type of thing. What they do is take contacts from your email account, if you have previously allowed Facebook to scour it. Did you receive an email with other people cc'd? Sign up for the event on Facebook? Any number of other simple explanations might be the culprit before you start thinking Facebook is spying on you with GPS.

Haha, had nothing to do with your phone

No one went on your FB and made those suggestions (except perhaps friends). FB automatically makes friend suggestions based on your friends' friends. Think of it like a depiction of a web of friends and there's strings attaching various friends to others. Depending on how many friends know a certain person you don't have added, someone will be added to your suggestion list. And it's not coincidence it happened that day. It's very likely people were being tagged in pictures and posts which is the explanation for the new suggestions so suddenly.

Scary? Possibly, but I can assure you, no one handpicked that list for you, it's pure programming.

I got rid

of my cell phone several months ago. There's only been two times I've missed it.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ~J. Swift

I've noticed it too

I've seen someone at a bar, or talked to them at a party, and suddenly they're in my newsfeed, their friends are 'suggested' too me.

Screw the phone idea, I need to gtfo facebook.

It's just association...

People met and friend-ed each other from that party. Someone probably posted pictures, and tagged people from the party in those pictures. Since you are friends with a few of them, Facebook's friend finder algorithm put 2 and 2 together. It wasn't your phone.

It's creepy, but

It's creepy, but explainable.

Facebook has fuzzy algorithms that identify post frenzy, and use those to increase activity amongst it members.

When all the wedding guests starts posting during the affair, the logic awakens and all the linked people get buzzed.

You were Facebook friends with the bride and/or groom correct?
Facebook creates long tentacles, friends of friends of friends.
LinkedIn does the same thing too.

Don't know if anyone remembers the old STD commercials, where you sleep with every person your partner ever slept with.

That is Facebook. You are linked with every person times every other person, times every other person, they are linked with.

Get rid of FB.

Theories aside, no entity on earth, corporate or otherwise, should ever know who all your friends are.

NOT creepy if you work for the

tax dollar-supported intel gathering community, however! : ) (FB is the #1 tool in the belt for these people.)

Yeah, I've been FB-free for a couple years now. But the flipside is that I am noticing (being in the search for full-time employment) that certain--and no doubt growing in number--employers are apprehensive of candidates who do not have FB or other social networking memberships.

What a feckin' nightmare....

What would the Founders do?

Yeah, it's creepy.

Through our insatiable desire for the conveniences afforded by technology, all of us are "aidin' an' abettin'" our path to a global government being able to keep tabs on all of us while, at the same time, rendering us increasingly helpless without their direct involvement.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

I expected an article down this path


Court case about Verizon helping the FBI by reprogramming a guy's phone.

Yes, creepy...

That is one of the reasons I got off FB, was the creepiness factor.

Is there any chance that one of your friends (the bride or groom) posted a status and said they were "with" you, as well as everybody else? That would seem like a more logical link rather than a common GPS location.

On your homepage, it should show if someone posted that you were 'with' them.

My $.02

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty. -Thomas Jefferson

They were the only ones on my fb

I went to their pages and they haven't posted since Friday. They are on their honeymoon now. I have my account set where nobody can tag me.