A paranoia collective is spread by the users of smartphones around the world: Our smart phones listen to us. The idea that operators, social networks and technology companies to listen to our private conversations through the microphone of our device each time it is taken more seriously, and in addition the evolution of big data and advertising, programatic, and scandals such as the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica does not help anything.
If that weren’t enough, a recent story published by Vice entitled “Your phone is listening and it is not paranoia,” in which a reporter claimed that the “listeners” were real based on an experience of five days, paid for in large measure to the paranoia.
Is it true? Is it possible that in all the time we are the prey of a perverse listening to commercial purposes and even worse? A group of scientists from the Northeastern University of Boston (the same that mathematically calculated the brute force of Thanos in Infinity War) decided to respond to this question once and for all, so that they dedicated a full year of their lives to achieve it.
The team of specialists formed by Elleen Pan, Jingjing Ren, Martina Lindorfer, Christo Wilson, and David Choffnes, used 17.260 Android apps to find out if any of them was able to use the microphone of your phone to obtain and record audio. Among the apps that formed the sample were thousands who belong to Facebook and over 8,000 that send information to the social network created by Mark Zuckerberg and more than 9,000 that had permission to access the camera.
And we fear to tell to all friends “conspiracy” that we read that the conclusion to which I arrive the team is… NOT. Not we are listening via our cell phones.
To obtain their findings, the researchers threw 10 Android phones, and used a program automated to interact with each of the apps studied and analyze the traffic generated after. At the end they found no evidence that any of the app to activate spontaneously the microphone or send audio without a command by the owner.