Technology

Beware! Your Smartphone May Be Spying On You, Claims Recent Study

(Last Updated On: July 6, 2018)

Your smartphone may be spying on you.

You have a spy in your home. Look no further. It is in your hand. Yes, your smartphone may be spying on you.

This is not a hoax. A recent study by computer science academics at Northeastern University claims that the smartphones send screenshots and video recordings to third-party apps without users’ knowledge.

Shocking, right? Well, it is true.

It was found in the study that while smartphones might not listen or record the user’s conversations, some of the apps shared image and video data with other third parties, without users’ knowledge. Interestingly, the study was initially done to find out whether apps in the phone secretly use phones’ mic to record audio or not.

While the smartphones have come clean on that part with no proof that users’ conversations were recorded, there is now enough proof to conclude that our phone’s screenshots and videos are shipped away somewhere.

“We also identified a previously unreported privacy risk that arises from third-party libraries that record and upload screenshots and videos of the screen without informing the user,” The Indian Express quoted the study. “ This can occur without needing any permissions from the user.”

The study has particularly raised fingers on the U.S. based GoPuff, a food delivery startup, interaction with which was allegedly found to be recorded and being sent to a domain affiliated mobile analytics company Appsee. The fact that interaction will be recorded was not disclosed in GoPuff’s privacy policy in a major security breach.

Now that the truth came into the picture, GoPuff has now added a disclosure about the same. This is simply an example of how easy it can be for companies to gather personal data, without us knowing anything about it.

Over the past few months, concerns regarding smartphone microphones listening and sharing private conversations as well as data leak are being raised. This study seems to be just another leaf in this book.

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