That App You Just Installed – It Might Be Listening To You

If you were not paranoid before, you may be now.  According to a lawsuit filed last month, the Golden State Warrior’s app turns on your phone’s microphone in order to figure out where the owner is, in order to serve ads to the user.

The suit names the NBA team, Yinzcam, Inc., which developed the app and Signal 360, which licenses the technology that makes it all work.

The law firm who filed the suit, Edelson, PC and attorney Christopher Dore said that they plan to bring lawsuits against almost a dozen pro sports teams for violating people’s privacy.

While the purpose of the technology is to use the mic to listen to beacons in and around the arena to serve ads, the microphone has to listen to your conversations as well in order to do that.

In theory they might be able to throw out your conversations, but then again, maybe not.

The app does this whether it is in the foreground or in the background.

While the app does request permission to access your phone’s microphone, it doesn’t clearly explain why or what they are collecting.

While this suit only addresses Android users, there is an iPhone app as well.  Apparently, the way that the app requests permission on an iPhone is different, so the suit doesn’t cover Apple users.  That doesn’t mean that the Apple app is not doing the same thing, however.

The suit is asking for damages for each of the 100,000 users who downloaded the Android app.

The team did not respond to requests for comment.

Most people do not bother to even look at the permissions that apps ask for.  Most users would not even consider not installing an app that asks for too many permissions.

This is an example of what happens when you don’t do that.

This is far from the only app that uses the Signal 360 technology and the firm is attempting to file other lawsuits on behalf of users of other apps that do the same thing.

One other thing to consider.

Not only would the app record your voice, but it would record the voice of anyone nearby, so even if you haven’t installed the Warrior app, it doesn’t mean that you are not being recorded.

THIS is why Snowden made people take the batteries out of their phone or put their phone in the freezer (the metal box does a good job of shielding the phone from communicating).

So next time you install an app or even say something private, consider that a nearby phone may be recording the conversation.

Maybe the FBI should use this technology?

MAYBE they already are!

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