More than 250 Android games spy on their users using the microphone
Some games and apps for Android are using your smartphone’s mic without your knowledge, according to a study.
The new study also discovered that more than 250 games for Android are listening to what your mic picks up — but not to hear what you say. Instead, they’re trying to hear what you’re watching.
After following up, they can offer this information to advertising companies to show you ads. Have you noticed that sometimes you find advertising related to what you see on TV? This could be the reason.
These applications, as reported by the NYT , are available directly in the Google Play Store and use a specific tracking software developed by a company called Alphonso. Although Android demands that apps request permission to use mobile features, these apps do not make it clear what they will use the microphone for.
Some of these apps even continue to listen to the user when they are not using the application.
In many cases, the apps request permission to use the microphone of the mobile and the only way to know what they need is to explore the developer’s website, the app’s page on Google Play or hidden in the options of the same app.
This problem has been uncovered in Android, but since some of these applications are also available in the App Store it’s likely that the same thing is happening in iOS. In general, it is advisable to be very careful with the permissions granted to the apps.