Can Advertisers read your texts? 3 Important Points!


The thought that wanders in almost every person’s mind whenever he sees a relatable advertisement of a thing is that: ‘I recently talked about this’. Such incidents happening once or twice could be labelled just a funny coincidence, but if it happens often, everyone tends to believe that there is something fishy about it. The user’s mind becomes incorporated with the doubts over protection of privacy, and he tends to hesitate upon using the services offered by the internet.

With the increasing technological advancements that keep on expanding in this digital age, privacy is the utmost concern that is related to the usage of internet services including personalized advertisements. Moreover, Incidents have been pouring in of user data being leaked or captured by many interfaces that could act against such users. In the midst of such data exploiting news that keeps floating on and on, encountering advertisements that seem “way too personal” ignite serious questions such as about where advertisers retrieve such data from. Do they read our texts? By the end of this article, you indeed are going to find out all about it.

Understanding advertiser practices

For those who are not so familiar with today’s advertising tactics that many advertisers use, a targeted advertisement may be a new word. Such kind of practice involves providing advertisements to a certain targeted audience based on their expertise, demand, preferences and of course, ability to buy the product. But how can targeted advertising actually work? The answer is simple. Advertisers focusing on targeted advertising acquire such information by keeping in check with the user’s activities on the internet, such as search history, interests, hobbies, or even personal information such as age.

Well, advertising practices help advertisers to produce more efficient ads that could be of great use to their users. For that, they involve various tactics that are dependent upon how much extent a user allows to give out information.

The usage of cookies is one such prominent data-collecting method used by advertisers. Cookies are nothing but mini texts that help gather information related to user activity. Another similar variant of cookies is a tracking pixel, which is basically a tiny image instead of text.

Social media is also infamously known to breach a user’s privacy by collecting data, and its mode mainly utilizes a user’s interactive instincts whilst using the platform. It could be in the form of follows, likes or any such kind of activity. If a user tends to like a jewellery picture, he may eventually be recommended an advertisement of the same. It may even reach a further extent when a social media platform or any other website, as an advertiser, partners up with an e-commerce website. It may provide access to a user’s purchase history, and show similar advertisements as per their preference. Another significant method used by advertisers for data tracking includes the use of any third-party interface that can provide information about a user.

App permissions and user agreements

For any application to work, it may require a set of permissions from you. For instance, using any third-party application for clicking photos, such as a beauty camera, will ask you to grant permission to access your camera, and microphone, as well as your files to click photos and store them on your device.

Hence it becomes important for a user to review and interpret what kind of permission is needed for the functionality of an application. Granting unnecessary permissions is a strict no for any application, as it may use the data against favor of the user. Any application requesting sensitive information shall be straightforwardly declined.

Speaking of applications, it also requires the user to undergo user agreement as well as privacy policies. User Agreement signifies that a user has made clear the acceptance to consume services of an application after undergoing its terms and conditions alongside the privacy policies. A user must always ensure that the terms and conditions regarding the security of privacy of their data are legit and transparent.

Coming to the topic, are text messages also included in data collection? The answer would lie in its privacy policy and to some extent, it does. Even though advertisers could not directly utilize your text messages for data collection, there exist certain applications which directly request your access to your text message to perform their purpose. If you grant them permission, they can use the text messages in the form of data.

Another way that a text message could be used for data collection is by opting for a cloud backup service. Many applications provide this service for automated data sync as well as the restoration of messages in case they are lost. Through this, text messages are stored in cloud space and could be accessed and used by advertisers to promote their services.

Protecting your Privacy

Privacy is a necessity! In this digitized world where every fact or information could be accessed in the blink of an eye, protection of one’s data is mainly in the user’s own hands. In this virtual world, nothing is actually completely private. But falling into the trap of data capturing could be averted to some extent by following necessary precautions and adapting strategies in order to gain control over data.

The topmost tip to safeguard your private information is to thoroughly review the user agreement and privacy policies that an application demands you to accept in order for you to use their services. They often make them long, but complete reading of the documents is a must if you want to save yourself from any unwanted breach of privacy.

Using a strong and unique password for any of your accounts is also a must. It should be confidential and thus, not shared with anyone. Avoid logging in to devices that are not yours or are the ones that you do not use any further. Always make sure to log out from such devices.

Another thing to lay emphasis upon is to make sure whatever you do on social media should be mindful and appropriate. Clicking on any unfamiliar links can cause malware to enter your device and affect your data, hence, it should be avoided.

There are also various tools that can help you protect your privacy on the internet, such as blocking cookies, blocking any unwanted pop-ups, etc. Also, consider having an ad blocker if you do not wish to see ads.

Make sure that every personal information that you share on the internet is under your control. Always prefer adding as minimum personal information as possible. This could be done by limiting permission access for any kind of application.

For ensuring privacy, you can also manage the privacy settings on your device. Consider amending privacy settings into your device as per your preference and eradicate enabling any kind of setting that you find unnecessary.

By taking such baby steps and being a little extra cautious, you can be safe on the internet without any hassle. Just be aware and keep yourself updated regarding all the privacy features that are being introduced from time to time.


Moving to the conclusion, it must be clear that even though text messages are not directly accessed by advertisers, it plays a major part in displaying the advertisements that are shown to you in the form of targeted advertising. Data personalization could be beneficial to both users and advertisers if used to a limited extent. But it should also be made clear that using one’s conscience is also necessary when it comes to making decisions related to granting permission that could affect your privacy. Even the smallest data owed by you is precious and must not fall into the wrong hands.

Hence, it is the top priority of a digital consumer to stay aware and informed. Data privacy is a grave concern and only through eliminating ignorance and adopting precautionary measures and tactics, we definitely can curb the problem.