Utility apps are a dime a dozen in Google Play Store, but if you're not careful, you might install one that has some unwanted payload inside. They collect information about the viewing habits of people by identifying audio signals in TV ads and shows.
It is possible the malware developers knew that this tactic would not work on these devices, or they wanted to avoid being checked by Google Play during inspection periods.
Hello everyone! Welcome to another post which includes some of the best apps on Android platform for different purposes. Not only that, but these microphones are also picking up which advertisements on television you are watching as well. It's not normally, I don't think, going to be expected that an application is going to be listening for what you're watching. Alphonso refuses to release the full list of games and they have declined to share how many users now opted, whether knowingly or not, in the program.
Ashish Chordia, Alphonso's chief executive, insisted that the software is clearly explained in app descriptions and privacy policies. Google has done a lot to improve the experience of running mobile apps on its browser-based operating system, and it appears a forthcoming software update could fix one of the remaining problems.
The audio signatures are compared to "commercial content" that plays on your TV - here used as an umbrella term encompassing games consoles, media players, streaming programs and so on.
The good news is that there is a way to opt-out of this information being collected. This included user's Android ID, Mac address, IMSI, details about the OS, model and brand of the device, language, location information, data on other installed apps like Facebook and Google Play and even device specifics such as screen size. In order to get that you need to follow the Google Play method and download apps from there only along with enabling some security settings. Even when users unknowingly purchased supposedly ad-free versions of the malicious apps, they were served with ads anyway.
This sounds like a violation of privacy, but these apps actually inform the users they are about to use the microphone of their smartphone to monitor their TV viewership habits.