There is a popular conspiracy theory about the technological giants that they are listening to our conversation silently. We all have been through an experience where your phone comes up with an ad, which is a little coincidental.
This issue is not an individual; even business customers are also going through the same problem. They worry about if some unwanted parties are tracking their employees and executives through their devices. Last time in June, North-eastern University’s researchers in the US state of Massachusetts have tested 17,000 mobile apps from various Android app stores worldwide. They found no evidence of listening. Still, they are finding that some relatively small applications were sending screenshots and even videos of user phone activities to third parties. You can do it for development purposes and not for advertising.
The plan for the test
To know whether the advertising platforms are spying on your conversation through your smartphone or not, an iPhone and a Samsung Galaxy phone were setups in an audio test room for 30 minutes. The test runs with a pet food video playing on a loop, and also a control group was running for 30mins over three days with the same two devices in a silent test room.
The main thing to find out through the test:
- If the battery consumption, consumption of data, or background usage of critical applications change during the testing period.
- If we can see ads for pet food within these apps after the testing period.
Result of the test
As a result, suggesting that the phones activate the microphone or transfer data in response to sound. There were minimal changes in the case of data consumption and battery consumption, and in most cases, there was no change at all. And no pet food ads were showing up after the tests.
In reality, there’s no need to listen to our conversation for the advertisers as they are clever enough to use profiling users. Data on Location, the behavior of browsing, IPs, tracking pixels, and social media profiles all provide more than enough information, so it gates easy to predict your choice. It helps to know what you are thinking about buying. Tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon has so much information about you. These tech giants have all the information about your needs.
To keep your privacy, the following measures are recommended :
- Downloading apps from official app stores is a safe way to maintain the privacy of your phone.
- Keeping your OS up to date is very important for security patches.
- App permissions on your device should be checked, and which apps can have access to sensitive information, such as your location data, should stay in a limit.
- Where you have the possibility, private browsing or incognito windows should be used.
- Browsers which are privacy-friendly should be adopted.
- VPN, which are trustworthy, should be used.
Read our other article on Have we become a world of addicts?
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