Is my smartphone spying on me?

Ellen from Orange County, CA

Episode 1484 (1:01:27)

Spying

Ellen is concerned that with a camera, microphone and GPS, that her phone could be spying on her. Rich says that one company, ZTE, was banned in the US because its phone was collecting user information and phoning home with it. But Rich says that was probably a software issue. Phones aren't really spying on people, per se. But when she signs up for free services like Facebook, they are aggregating a lot of user behavior that is used to push ads to her. It seems like spying, but it's more that it provides information for her based on her interests and online behavior. Whether Ellen thinks it's a good thing is another matter, but it's in the terms of service agreement.