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Is your cell-phone listening to your private conversations?

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FARGO—It's constantly gathering information on what you like, who you are; even where you go.

Collecting data about user's browsing data is a multi-billion dollar industry, any leg up could mean a big payday for companies.

Are any going so far as to listen to your conversations to learn more about you?

Americans are glued to their phones, checking the devices up to 85 times a day.

Are we still connected even when we set the phone down?

"It knows what you're searching, where you're driving, what you're saying," said Fargo resident Josh Scully.

Some are convinced those microphones never shut off.

"I don't know, but I don't know how we'd know," said another Fargo resident, Matt Wengler.

The accuracy of targeted ads online and in apps can be downright eerie sometimes, leading some to believe phones are searching for keywords in your daily conversations.

Is there any truth to it?

"We get this question from clients a lot, and a lot of times they call it creepy," said Mariah Madsen of Flint Communications.

We asked Mariah Madsen, The Media Director for Flint Group in Fargo, how targeted ads work.

"A little piece of code is attached to your IP address and it follows you around," Madsen told us.

Services grab data from all sorts of places, Google used to read through gmail inboxes for clues to create ads designed for users.

"The advertising gets more relevant and useful," Madsen said.

What about real-life conversations?

"It's a little bit big brother-ish. In theory I don't believe it's in user agreements or that they're using voice data," Madsen told us.

Madsen is skeptical, but in the new field of targeted marketing, even the experts aren't 100% sure.

Companies like Facebook and Google have denied using voice data in the past, so there's no proof to claims of recording.

If you value your privacy and want to be extra careful, you can go into your phone's settings and disable the microphone; on most devices it'll be under the privacy tab, and only takes a minute.

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