Hundreds of Android and iOS apps are eavesdropping on users
Hundreds of Android and iOS apps are eavesdropping on users
12 January, 2018, 18:56
"Alphonso" collects this data for advertisers to create more personalized ads and also to track the effectiveness of TV ads, such as those for vehicle dealers.
The New York Times reports that "hundreds" of apps are embedding a revenue stream-creating package called Alphonso that uses your smartphone microphone to track your TV viewing habits.
The Federal Trade Commission had warned developers that they must notify users on their apps' monitoring habits before users get to install the pieces of software on their phones. Most of these apps do not otherwise use a microphone and can monitor a mic even when they're closed.
Both Google and Apple have strict rules and require apps to ask permissions from users to access a device's camera, microphone and other features, but a lot of users ignore these disclosures. But if that happened, chances are Alphonso wouldn't have much of a user base anymore as who would opt to enable use of a microphone to listen to what you are watching?
So when the app is running it will listen for "set-top-boxes, media players, gaming consoles, broadcast, or another video source (e.g., TV shows, streaming programs, advertisements, etc.)" However, it won't record your voice.
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