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Experts Warn Your Phone Really Is Listening To Everything You Say

Experts Warn Your Phone Really Is Listening To Everything You Say

A cybersecurity expert has warned your smartphone really is listening to what you talk about.

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Have you ever been chatting to someone about a particular product or holiday destination and then you start to see advertisements about them all over your social media apps?

Well according to one researcher, these ads aren't just a happy coincidence and your phone is actually listening to you, which I think we can all agree sounds super creepy...

Credit: Tracy Le Blanc/Pexels
Credit: Tracy Le Blanc/Pexels

The researcher claims that it's completely legal for this to happen and it's even covered in the terms of your mobile apps' user agreements.

Most smartphones have AI assistants, which are triggered by spoken commands, like 'Hey Siri' or 'OK, Google' and these models are always listening out for the designated phrase.

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However, one researcher claims that when the right permissions are enabled on your device, these keywords and phrases can also be picked up by third-party apps, like Instagram and Twitter.

Credit: Picjumbo.com/Pexels
Credit: Picjumbo.com/Pexels

Dr Peter Henway, a senior security consultant for cybersecurity firm Asterisk, told Vice: "From time to time, snippets of audio do go back to [apps like Facebook's] servers but there's no official understanding what the triggers for that are.

"Whether it's timing or location-based or usage of certain functions, [apps] are certainly pulling those microphone permissions and using those periodically.

"All the internals of the applications send this data in encrypted form, so it's very difficult to define the exact trigger."

Credit: Rawpixel.com from Pexels
Credit: Rawpixel.com from Pexels

He added:"Seeing as Google are open about it, I would personally assume the other companies are doing the same."

"Really, there's no reason they wouldn't be. It makes good sense from a marketing standpoint and their end-user agreements and the law both allow it, so I would assume they're doing it, but there's no way to be sure."

Anyone else seriously creeped out right now?

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: Life News, Real, Technology

Haleema Khokhar

Haleema Khokhar is a Freelance Journalist at Tyla. She graduated from University of Central Lancashire in Journalism and has since gained over three years experience working within the communications and marketing industry before going freelance as a Content Writer. Contact her on ha[email protected]

 

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