According to a new report, there are some smartphone games that are listening to what your mic picks up. The interesting thing is that they are not trying to hear what you speak rather they are keen to hear what you’re watching!
With the help of microphone access to tell what shows you watch, which ads you hear or what movies you see, this is something that certain smartphones apps have been doing for a while now. According to a report by The New York Times this is more prevalent — and more secretive — than consumers might like, which is something alarming.
On the Google Play Store, over 250 games have been identified that include just one specific type of software for monitoring users’ TV habits. Most apps appear to conceal their disclosure in their description, under a “read more” button.
The Federal Trade Commission has warned companies about this behavior in the past. Back in 2016, a number of Android developer were using software called SilverPush, which was of the same type, that users required to be notified of what kind of information their apps are collecting and the reason for this activity.
Some of these apps monitor a phone’s microphone even after they’re closed. In addition to Android apps, there are some iOS apps that are also doing the same thing. Apple as well as Google require apps to request microphone access that means you do have to grant permission before an app can start listening — but it isn’t clear earlier in all cases that the app will still work even without having that authority.
While these apps can hear all you say, they’re just supposed to listen for recognizable audio from TV shows, movies, and ads that they use for targeting ads.