Android games and other applications being used for eavesdropping

The accusations about applications being used for surveillance is not new but there’s something new apart from surveillance which is doing the same for a different purpose

With the growth in the number of cellphone users day-by-day, the digital marketing industry is rapidly flourishing. There are many factors leading to this, one is now the advertisers and marketers can reach out to anyone having a smartphone in any corner of the world and the persons’ will be exactly displayed what he/she likes the most.

Many of us having smartphones noticed this thing but decided to ignore it. Correct??

What if we tell you that the people displaying these advertisements and giving you notifications via various applications are actually tracking down each and every bit of your activity and listening to whatever is going around you.

Feels a bit weird, Right?

According to a report in The New York Times,” There are more than 250 Android Games and Other applications in Google PlayStore that can activate the mic in our smartphones and use them as listeners and later send them to the developers, which will be further passed on to digital markets for quite a good price. Some of these Android games and applications are “Pool 3D”, “Beer Pong: Trickshot”, “Real Bowling Strike 10 Pin”, and “Honey Quest”. They provide digital marketers the data and ability to show targeted ads to the users’.

One such company is Alphonso, a startup that sells media-viewing data, supplies a plugin that listens for audio signals in shows and movies. Some of these applications are so powerful, that they can obtain clear voice data even if the cellphone is in your pocket or your backpack.

As published in The New York Times, the CEO of Alphonso, Mr, Ashish Chordia clarified that they worked with movie studios to analyze movie-viewing habits and with Shazam to collect music-listening data.

Furthermore, he said that their company does not record any human voices and all the capabilities regarding their applications are disclosed in app descriptions and ToS (Terms of Services). Also, in order to allow application the access to the vital components like mic, camera, GPS etc. the user has to grant permission while installing any application developed by Alphonso.

However, it doesn’t seem like companies indulged in collecting data from our smartphones are going to stop anytime soon with the digital market generating more than $70 billion per annum.

So our piece of advice in case you are worried about your privacy would be, check the application carefully, go through the descriptions and also the reviews before installing them on your phones.

source: The New York Times

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