These Apps are listening to you secretly for tracking your TV viewing pattern

New York Times recently reported that, apps operating on the software of the company ‘Alphonso’ used your smartphone’s mic to record what you’re watching on your phones. Your smartphone stalking your is probably the last thing you might want to know. Business has become a very filthy way to people’s privacy. Though the fact is having a social media account itself is the end of your privacy. Whom are we kidding?

TechGYO_Alphonso company_apps ulitizing their software
Image Courtesy: Beet. TV

Did you ever notice, you talk to your friend about an ad and it suddenly pop’s up everywhere you go? Because that data is connected you to those ads by stalking you. Scary, isn’t it? Gaming apps like Pool 3D, Beer Pong: Trickshot and Real Bowling Strike 10 Pin, Honey Quest to name a few are some of the apps which keeps track of your viewing habits once downloaded. According to New York Times, approximately 250 games using Alphonso’s software were found in Google Play and few of them in App Store. Many of which were targeted to children, the apps continued tracking internet surfing patterns even when the games were not played.

TechGYO_Pool 3D, Beer Pong, Strike!
Imac Courtesy: Google Play, ITunes-Apple, Techtly

Apptopia, a mobile app intelligence which also analyzes the accurate app store downloads, noticed the applications using their software has come down to 106 in Google Play Store and 24 on the App Store, except the paid games and apps which require IOS 11.

Alphonso is a TV data gathering company for advertisers and brands who want to make more out of marketing which basically includes every brand! Every brand wants to be the best. The Alphonso based app softwares, can recognise what the user is watching by gathering the audio signals for TV Ads and programs on through one’s smart phone. Adding to it, the phone’s mics are also used to record the users surroundings. To which, these apps often try matching people with the information to the places they visit or the movies that they watch. This data is then applied to the target audience according to their preferences to be more accurate.

Facebook spying on your conversations is a well convinced theory by everyone. This was actually proven by one of the users who performed an experiment were he has a two-day conversation only about Kit-Kat after which he saw a series of Kit-Kat ads in his profile. Well, you might feel a bit relaxed to know that Alphonso dont actually listens your call-conversations just minds its own business by tracking your viewing pattern and sells your data to advertising. Made any difference? It still feels violating!

You still have an option to keep it clear. Say No to the apps which ask for permission to access your microphone when not required. Also, to your phone gallery for such cases. Game apps have nothing to do with your pictures right? Similarly, know the app thoroughly before downloading it and know its use, remember if you think the app is suspicious you can download a different app. Play Store and App Store are filled with good functioning features which does not require a permit to enter your private world.


These Apps are listening to you secretly for tracking your TV viewing pattern 1
Megha Kottapalli
Megha is a Technology writer.

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