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Beware! your smartphone is secretly spying on you

your smartphone is secretly spying on you

No one could easily deny the fact that your smartphone is secretly spying on you. After the Facebook controversy, everyone has the trust issue even while using the apps from trusted publishers.

Millions of Facebook user’s profile data harvested by Cambridge Analytica without the user’s constant. The data was leaked in the year 2016 but researchers found this report in the year 2018. Who knows how and where this data is used, legally or illegally.

How do we know that your smartphone is secretly spying on you?

Many people are convinced and reporting that their smartphone is secretly listening to their microphone and targetting them with ads. From last year, Some computer science academic researchers from Northeastern University and the University of California, have been experimenting on 17,000 of the most popular Android apps to find out whether any of them secretly using your smartphone’s microphone to record you. The apps were including those belonging to Facebook and over 8,000 apps that send information to Facebook.

The good news is that researchers didn’t find any app that is secretly recording the user’s microphone. But the bad news is that they found few of apps that secretly recording your screen or capturing screenshots and video of your screen.

Especially, they found one app recoding screen. The GoPuff, a junk food delivery company, was taking screenshot and recording user interactions and sending them to domain affiliated to Apsee, a mobile app analytics company. The GoPuff did not mention this functionality in its privacy policy.

Do apps really record microphone secretly?

Yes, There are plenty of apps that record the user’s microphone and there is no disclosure of this functionality in their privacy policy. The researchers only tested 8,000 of the popular apps but there are over millions of apps available.

More: Unknown iPhone facts you might don’t know

Here are few claims by user’s reporting that their smartphone is secretly spying on them.

your smartphone is secretly spying on you

In the above statement, the user is claiming that he never searched for “shovels” on Google. According to the user, he was talking to someone about the issue but he didn’t Google it, even then the ads of shovel and lye were coming in his Facebook feed.

There might be an app which would be recording his microphone and displaying ads related to it. This is not the only report from the user’s experience, here is another.

your smartphone is secretly spying on you

This user was not talking over the phone call or chatting. But he was talking to his friends about going to park to watch the fireworks. But when he searched for the park in Google maps, after typing the second alphabet Google filled the rest with the suggestion about what they were talking about. As per him, he only typed “th” in the search bar and the suggested place was not near to them but 25 miles away.

How could any map suggest this accurate place even without typing much? The Google maps show the nearby places first but the place suggested was 25 miles away.

Here a question arises, do Google listen to phone’s microphone even when is idle or it was only a coincidence?

However, if we consider that your smartphone is secretly spying on you all the time, then your smartphone will heat all the time and the data consumption would be higher. Some apps might be spying on you but not all the time.

How to prevent apps from spying on you?

  • Never install apps from unknown sources
  • Always download apps from play store or app store and keep them up to date
  • while installing any app, check what permissions they are asking
  • Never allow any permission to the app which is not included in its functionality. For example, the calculator app should not ask for permission to access contacts.

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