Some Gaming Apps Are Using Microphone To Track TV Viewing Habits

Some Gaming Apps Are Using Microphone To Track TV Viewing Habits”

Not only that, but these microphones are also picking up which advertisements on television you are watching as well.

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, released a statement in conjunction with the press release, exclaiming how "we are thrilled with the reaction to the new App Store and to see so many customers discovering and enjoying new apps and games".

The software in question is run by a company called Alphonso, and works by listening in on its users' surrounding environments in a bid to discern what they are watching on TV. If the user clicks the button to resolve the detected "Fraud SMS Broadcast Vulnerability", then the app will just show a simple animation illustrating that the problem has been 'resolved.' This way, the user will think the app is working and will not be suspicious of it, ' they noted.

This then allows for these companies to target advertisements to you accordingly based on what you are watching. So that means it is not being done in secret really, but most people are not aware this is happening. We expect a company such as Google that is so deeply entrenched in the business of advertising to use every possible opportunity to display an ad.

To trick people into installing the shady software, hackers gave the apps legitimate sounding names like "Voice Recorder Pro", "WiFi Password Pro", "Super Flashlight Lite", and "Brightest LED Flashlight-Pro".

The audio signatures are compared to "commercial content" that plays on your TV - here used as an umbrella term encompassing games consoles, media players, streaming programs and so on.

Besides the fake security alerts, users were also hit with a trove of advertisements on almost every action they performed.

The report also adds that now there are 250 games that use this software, and are now available on the Google Play Store. Within the Alphonso privacy policy, it states that the data that is collected is possibly shared with various third-parties.

Padon estimates that the malware, called LightsOut because if affects several flashlight apps, has been downloaded between 1.5 million to 7.5 million times. Developers of apps that collect user data for purposes unrelated to the application's functionality will now have to explain prior to collection and transmission of the data how they plan to use it. A lot of parents will find this collection abhorrent as well as weird. They found that not only were these apps secretly harvesting user data and pushing advertisements, the services they were offering were also fake and created to convince users that their security tools were genuine.

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