Researchers Find Apps Aren’t Recording Your Conversations (But Some Are Grabbing Screenshots)

08 Julio, 2018, 05:23 | Author: Misty Newman
  • Francisco Seco  AP

Now, a fresh research report has tried to debunk this theory. But don't get too happy.

Thankfully, the researchers found phones don't record your conversations and send them to advertisers.

The study, which was first reported by Gizmodo, only focused on Android apps, while future research will look at iOS app permissions as well as mobile-app interactions with Internet-of-things devices.

A new study performed by researchers at Northeastern University with some help from UC Santa Barbaraoffers reassuring evidence that most smartphone apps aren't stealthily snooping on the people who use them.

People can be very fanciful about what personal things they do with their smartphones, watching p**n, checking ex-partner's Facebook account, searching or talking about things you will never do publicly, let us leave the rest to individual's imagination.

Tbh (which stands for the acronym "to be honest") is an anonymous social media app aimed at high school students, which Facebook acquired just eight months ago. This is another limitation of the study, as the bot was not able to perform all human-level activity, like creating usernames and passwords.

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There wasn't a single instance in the 17,260 apps that one of them sent audio files and turned on the microphone. Over 9,000 apps had permission to access the phone's microphone and camera, meaning they *technically* did have the right to listen in when the app was in use.

However, they found something equally unsafe. Instead, they came out with another chilling revelation that some apps make screen recordings and share those with third parties. Don't download suspicious apps or even if you are using one, be alert and selective on what you do on the app. The team used an automated program that worked with the apps, and they noted what particular media files were being sent to these third-party groups.

At the bottom of it all, unauthorized screen recording activities of companies like Appsee still violates the privacy of users and greatly poses risks to breaches.

After GoPuff was informed by the researchers, it promptly added a disclosure stating, "AppSee might receive users PII (personally identifiable information)".

Indeed, AppSee advertises itself as a way to keep tabs on an app's users. Therefore, Appsee claims that the invasion of privacy is GoPuff's fault. However, in this case, both are partly fault. Users have the option of downloading their data before the app closes. The developers of GoPuff's app included a line code, or an SDK, that lets AppSee collect data from GoPuff. Most of the attacks happen through apps and the latest study suggests that there are several apps existing on the PlayStore secretly smuggling screenshots and recordings of all the data on the screen.



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