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Published On: Tue, Apr 19th, 2011

Smartphone app can be used for eavesdropping

Computerworld reports that “a new class of smartphone app has emerged that uses the microphone built into your phone as a covert listening device,” and app makers are selling it as a feature. “It’s the next best thing to reading your mind,” the outlet says

Which apps are eavesdropping:

The apps are Color, Shopkick and IntoNow, all of which activate the microphones in users’ iPhone or Android devices in order to gather contextual information that provides some benefit to the user.

Color uses your iPhone‘s or Android phone’s microphone to detect when people are in the same room. The data on ambient noise is combined with color and lighting information from the camera to figure out who’s inside, who’s outside, who’s in one room, and who’s in another, so the app can auto-generate spontaneous temporary social networks of people who are sharing the same experience.

Shopkick works on both iPhone and Android devices. One feature of the app is to reward users for simply walking into participating stores, which include Target, Best Buy, Macy’s, American Eagle Outfitters, Sports Authority, Crate & Barrel and many others. Users don’t have to press any button. Shopkick listens through your cellphone for inaudible sounds generated in the stores by a special device.

Pick and choose your apps carefully. There are a ton of great choices beyond Google Play, get more information, details and choices over at 9apps.

photo/ rawpixel

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- Stories transferred over from The Desk of Brian where the original author was not determined and the content is still of interest of Dispatch readers.

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