Hundreds of Apps Can Eavesdrop Through Phone Microphones to Target Ads

BI Intelligence

BI Intelligence

Did you know that the games which you maybe playing on your Android phone are discreetly using your microphone to track your TV habits? And why do you think we say so? The company has announced an app called OnePlus Switch which will transfer contacts, messages, call logs, photos, videos, audio and applications (without their corresponding data) between Android devices.

"When you see "permission for microphone access for ads, ' it may not be clear to a user that, Oh, this means it's going to be listening to what I do all the time to see if I'm watching 'Monday Night Football", he added. The report has also apparently highlighted that this practice is in fact very secretive.

The Times claims, "More than 250 games that use Alphonso software are available in the Google Play store", but is less certain about how numerous titles appear on the App Store. These games have a particular thing in common - a software for monitoring TV habits of the user.

The company, however, believes that all of this is legitimate since apps using its software mention this in their privacy disclosures - something that no one actually bothers to read. An encircled number on the first app's icon shows you how many are grouped together, and you can drag the whole batch at once.

The Times says that some of these apps continue to monitor a phone's microphone even after they're closed.

Numerous apps, such as Dream Run, Honey Quest and Bunny Jump are games targeting children. Usually, such apps ask permission to access the camera and microphone.

For an example, a game, which was downloaded by the NYT for research objective, Endless 9*9 puzzle, was under scrutiny.

"40 million smart TVs, set-top boxes, mobile and living room devices with embedded Alphonso technology report viewership data in real time".

However, numerous apps downloaded from the iOS and Google Play Store already request permission to access unnecessary smartphone features.

Conspiracy theories about apps functioning in such a creepy manner have always been discussed about. He also noted that the company's disclosures comply with Federal Trade Commission guidelines and offer instructions for users to opt-out of the software on its website.

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