Your Android games could be secretly tracking you

Your Android games could be secretly tracking you

Most apps using the software are available on Google Play Store, while a smaller number of apps were also found on Apple's App Store. Even when the apps aren't in use, Alphonso's software can potentially use a smartphone's microphone to pick up on the TV shows and ads playing around the device, then use that information to target ads to the user, although the microphone is less likely to continue being used outside of the app on iOS devices due to Apple's built-in limitations on background apps. The information can then be used to target ads more precisely and to try to analyze things like which ads prompted a person to go to a vehicle dealership.

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.

Ashish Chordia, Chief Operating Officer at Alphonso, told NYT: "The consumer is opting in knowingly and can opt out any time". The research has also revealed that the Federal Trade Commission had warned companies about the similar behavior in the past.

The disclosure, though, is hidden within the app's settings, which means that users are not asked to agree on the practice in advance. This data is also sold to third party companies, and isn't necessarily anonymized.

More news: Rickie Fowler Targetting Major In 2018
More news: Trump Disbands Voter 'Fraud' Commission
More news: Hear two songs from Jack White's new album, Boarding House Reach

Alphonso says it does not record human speech, and that it only works with permission from the end user - but that permission needs only to be granted once.

The FTC stepped in after several apps using SilverPush spied on users without their consent. While Alphonso can not track human speech and uses audio signals for marketing purposes, it does offer another reminder that you can not simply trust an app or a game just because it's being downloaded from official marketplaces like the Play Store.

NYT reports that the software is used in games, some of which are geared towards children. You can't transfer text messages, call logs, photos (although you can access them in the cloud with Google Photos), and more.

A new report has claimed there are hundreds of Android apps on the Google Play Store that covertly use your phone's microphone to listen to your preferences - especially the type of TV shows you watch, and when.

Related Articles

  • Niagara Falls frozen and covered in ice as winter weather slams US

    Niagara Falls frozen and covered in ice as winter weather slams US

    Both on the NY and Ontario sides of the waterfall visitors have been sharing incredible photographs of the falls. The freezing temperatures gripping North America have already caused part of the Niagara Falls to ice over.
    Dominion CEO says $14.6 billion deal will benefit SC customers

    Dominion CEO says $14.6 billion deal will benefit SC customers

    South Carolina's legislative leaders are weighing in on the proposed acquisition of a troubled SC utility by Dominion Energy . Dominion Energy noted that the transaction would be accretive to its earnings upon closing, which is expected in 2018.
    Yerry Mina joins Barcelona

    Yerry Mina joins Barcelona

    He helped the team win Brazil's notorious competitive Campeonato Brasileiro for the first time since 1994 in his debut season. La Liga leaders FC Barcelona have reached an agreement for the transfer of Yerry Mina from Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras .
  • A 146-inch television will soon be available for purchase

    A 146-inch television will soon be available for purchase

    While that phrase sounds like typical PR/marketing hyperbole, we are actually inclined to trust Samsung's diagnosis in this case. In other words, aside from its ridiculous size, The Wall is as close to the ideal new TV as we've seen so far from any brand.
    Baker Mayfield Gets Over Rose Bowl L at Clippers Game

    Baker Mayfield Gets Over Rose Bowl L at Clippers Game

    Georgia lost two yards on a running play before Michel broke through the left side for his fourth score. Smart said the senior running backs "makes is a little more doable" for Fromm's success .
    US Farmers Welcome New Tax Reforms

    US Farmers Welcome New Tax Reforms

    The president is also generating applause with his calls for the American flag and the national anthem to be "respected". Trump touched on issues of concern to American farmers, including trade, immigration and rural broadband access.
  • Joel Embiid Doesn't Practice

    Joel Embiid Doesn't Practice

    The Philadelphia 76ers are averaging 108.3 points on 46.1 percent shooting and allowing 108.8 points on 43.9 percent shooting. It is the most he has done since he was shut down four games into the season because of a shoulder injury.
    IV shortage in U.S.  due to hurricane and flu cases

    IV shortage in U.S. due to hurricane and flu cases

    Denver based Xcel Energy is sending crews to Puerto Rico to help with the ongoing power restoration efforts. There is now a new push for state lawmakers to help them.
    Ronda Rousey was caught on video taking a very big meeting

    Ronda Rousey was caught on video taking a very big meeting

    Rousey has remained largely out of the spotlight since her last UFC fight, a December 2016 loss to Amanda Nunes. Or maybe she has been training for months now. "She's in for a rude awakening ", Enzo told TMZ Sports .
  • Bruno Mars & Cardi B, SZA, Logic, Khalid to Perform at Grammy Awards

    Bruno Mars & Cardi B, SZA, Logic, Khalid to Perform at Grammy Awards

    Bruno Mars will also appear at the NY show on January 28, with the singer set to perform Finesse with Cardi B . She is also in the running for Best Pop Solo Performance for "Praying" and Best Pop Vocal Album for Rainbow .
    Clean-up begins after Storm Eleanor batters the north

    Clean-up begins after Storm Eleanor batters the north

    A social worker who drove to safety as waves broke around her during Storm Eleanor said it was "like a walk in the park". Meanwhile, parts of Glenwood estate, Letterkenny were hit with flooding again following last night's down pour.
    Teachers in Jammu and Kashmir teach two maps to students: Army chief

    Teachers in Jammu and Kashmir teach two maps to students: Army chief

    Rawat said the education system of the state needed a major revamp, and made a case for opening more "CBSE schools". Referring to the USA action against Pakistan, the army chief said that its impact is yet to be seen.