WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- This discussion is about why after hours or days of exchanging info, Facebook will suddenly show you an advertisement of the exact same thing spoken previously.
- But after a research, analysts say that there is no evidence showing that your apps are listening to you.
- It’s more on “your apps are recording screenshots” on your device and send them to third-party apps.
“Your phone is listening to everything you say,” a conspiracy theory that so many netizens are willing to believe.
But as reported by Gizmodo’s Kashmir Hill, Northeastern University’s analysts claim that this might not be true at all.
In their one year of research, they claimed that there is no proof stating that your apps are paying attention to what you say, but they did discover that they may be observing every action you make.
Tests that ran on over 17,000 of the most well-known Android apps were conducted by a team of computer science researchers to see if either of them saved audio into the phone’s microphone. Facebook apps and more than 8,000 other apps were able to forward data to other social media platform. Majority of the apps had the approval to connect to the phone’s camera and microphone which granted conversations while the app is open to being documented. Using a programmed device, the analysts were able to prove that no audio recordings were being forwarded to outside parties.
Analysts knew the limitations of their research and never made a conclusion that your apps are never “secretly” listening to you. Because a programmed device was used to check the apps, the outcome may not be similar to what a human would come across.
As stated by Gizmodo, the analysts recognized something fishy. Video recordings and pictures of people’s actions were being captured by most of the apps. These screenshots were being forwarded to outside parties.
One of these apps, GoPuff, an app identical to Postmates, but basically used for midnight snack deliveries – are sending video recordings of the app’s screen to outside parties like Appsee. On delivery apps, personal data like credit card numbers and addresses are required to enter.
In a similar case, GoPuff also recorded and sent a screen recording of the client’s zip code. At first, GoPuff policy protocol didn’t inform customers that their actions on the app would be likely recorded but after the analysts made contact with them they updated their protocol to say that client’s “personally identifiable information” may be gathered.
The analysts’ actions to try to disprove a conspiracy theory led to another one. This recent theory may continue if companies still continue to not provide disclosures that your screen may be recorded.
Source: The Verge