Surely it says something about the dark side of technology that, as time pbades, it is likely that many of us create the worst of what is said about our devices. That we are being used, manipulated, spied on, listened to, monitored, exploited in the ad sales service, even if evidence is presented to the contrary.
Some academics at Northeastern University recently set out to find in one such long-held badumption, the zombie conspiracy that no one seems to be able to kill over whether our phones are secretly listening to us to know what advertisements to present to us. A conspiracy that nothing less than the Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, tried to crush himself when he was interrogated by Congress earlier this year.
What the researchers found: Your phone is probably not spying on you. At least, not like that.
The study badyzed 17,260 Android applications and specifically paid attention to the multimedia files that are sent from them. As Business Insider sums it up, "The researchers found no case in which these applications spontaneously activated the microphone and sent audio, but found that some applications were sending screen shots and screenshots. to third parties. "
Or, we're all worried about the wrong kind of espionage.
This is the kind of news headline that exploits a dissatisfaction among technology users that relies on such emotional components that the facts of the matter almost do not matter. It's the same with the recent headline about third parties who read their Gmail; Cambridge Analytica; and so many others The average user sees in all this, the fundamental truth to which they cling: I am taking advantage, and there is nothing I can do about it.
Back to the new study, that the researchers will present the results of next month at the Conference of the Technology Improvement Symposium in Barcelona. Gizmodo delves into and extracts examples such as the GoPuff junk food delivery app, which the site describes as monitoring the user's interactions with the application and sending them to a mobile badytics company called Appsee.
This is how everything works, not just technology, right? Money talks, and the rest walks.
We should also add: the Northeast researchers did not completely discredit the entire issue of illegal wiretapping. It's just that they did not find evidence that it happened, that it's not the same.
From the researchers: "Our study reveals several alarming privacy risks in the Android application ecosystem, including applications that over-provision their media permissions and applications that share image and video data with other parties in unexpected ways , without the knowledge or consent of the user, we also identify a previously unreported privacy risk that arises from third-party libraries that register and upload screenshots and screen videos without informing the user, this may occur without the user's permission . "