Since the inception of target advertising, a way of positioning ads based on demographics and activity on smartphones, people have believed that their phones secretly record conversations and monitor their every move.
But recently, a group of researchers has debunked the mass following conspiracy theory. Instead, they came out with another chilling revelation that some apps make screen recordings and share those with third parties.
Few young researchers at Northeastern University experimented on 17,000 popular apps to find out whether these apps were covertly using the microphone to record any audio.
Keeping their presumptions aside, researchers could not find evidence of apps using the microphone to improve target marketing further. Earlier, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the same in his Cambridge Analytica Scandal testimony.
But the same research also concluded that some apps sent screenshots and video recordings of what people were doing within the app and sending it to third-party domains.
They used an automated program which interacted with the apps on ten android phones. Their primary focus was to check whether any media files were being sent to the third party.
Researchers also found apps belonging to Facebook, along with more than 8,000 apps, sending information to Facebook.
As Gizmodo reported, GoPuff (a food delivery startup) recorded video of in-app interactions and forwarded it to a domain affiliated with Appsee, a mobile analytics company.
In response, Appsee stated that GoPuff was at fault and they have “disabled tracking capabilities for the mentioned app and purged all recordings data from our servers.”
Unfortunately, such actions are taken by companies only when someone manages to shed light on their illegal activities.