Researchers put two phones – one Samsung Android phone and one Apple iPhone – into a “audio room”. For 30 minutes they played the sound of cat and dog food adverts on loop. They also put two identical phones in a silent room.
The security specialists kept apps open for Facebook, Instagram, Chrome, SnapChat, YouTube, and Amazon with full permissions granted to each platform.
They then looked for ads related to pet food on each platform and webpage they subsequently visited. They also analysed the battery usage and data consumption on the phones during the test phase.
They repeated the experiment at the same time for three days, and noted no relevant pet food adverts on the “audio room” phones and no significant spike in data or battery usage.