As a shocking report by NYTimes, more than 250 mobile games on Google Play Store have the ability to keep track of your TV viewing habits, even when the game is not being played. Compared to Android, such apps on iOS platform are lesser in number.
These apps in question use a software from Alphonso; it’s a startup that collects the TV-viewing data and sells it to advertisers. Alphonso keeps tabs using your smartphone’s microphone. It also has the ability to match the audio signals on TV with the places you visit and movies you watch. The data which get sold is used to target the online advertisements more effectively.
It’s worth noting that a number of apps using this software are targeted towards children. As per Alphonso, it doesn’t record human speech–just the signals to figure out what’s running on TV.
Whatever might be the ethical implications of this voice collection, you must be aware of what permissions you’re granting to an app. If an app is asking for camera and audio permission but the use of that data doesn’t seem evident, you need to look for alternatives.
What are your views on this kind of intrusive data collection? Share your views and become a part of the discussion.