Hundreds of Android and iOS Apps Reportedly Use Your Microphone to Monitor Your TV Viewing Habits
Due to our increasing reliance on technology on a day to day basis, people understandably worry about widespread monitoring. Interestingly, a recently published report by New York Times has revealed that hundreds of Android and iOS games are using their users’ smartphones’ mics to monitor consumers’ television viewing habits.
The report revealed more than 250 games on the Google Paly store which were using a software from a company Alphonso. While the company revealed that the software doesn’t record speech, it revealed that the software can collect data of what people are watching by identifying audio signals in TV ads and shows. To make things worse, most of these applications can monitor a mic even when the application is closed.
CEO Ashish Chordia told the publication that his company works with different Hollywood studios to analyze people’s big-screen viewing habits. He said, “A lot of the folks will go and turn off their phone, but a small portion of people don’t and put it in their pocket. In those cases, we are able to pick up in a small sample who is watching the show or the movie.”
As for FTC regulation, Chordia revealed that the apps aren’t violating any guidelines as consumers are knowingly opting for the service and can opt out at any time they want to.