tracking tv userAfter literally every tech giant, now android games are on breaching your privacy.

Reportedly, Google play store has several applications that are capable of listening to what you are watching on your T.V. In my honest opinion, this is whole another level of privacy breach. According to the report, this is done in order to help advertisers serve better ads by tracking TV watching habits.

Despite not being hugely popular, there are 250 apps on the google store that already include this one specific software to track down users. As reported by New York Times. This particular software was developed by Mountain View, based in California. It uses the built-in microphone of your smartphone in order to track what is being watched on the television. Apart from ads and TV shows, it also tracks places user visits and what movies they love watching. The information derived from all this is used to serve even more appropriate ads.

NY times suggested, that the software isn’t capable of tracking Human speech. However, it doesn’t go well with the information that the software is able to track signals even when placed in the pocket and the game is running in the background. Alphonso, in its defense, mentioned that it discloses the monitoring, but in most of the cases, the warning is not visible.

Also, the games that have this software don’t explicitly mention that they will monitor the speech, but only ask for location and microphone access on devices with Android 6.0 and above. Only these access is enough to track a user. The company also didn’t disclose which applications are using the code. But, without any doubt, there are a ton of apps and games that use this tech. There are roughly 1k apps and games using the software. Not only on Android, but also on iOS.

The Music identifying application Shazam is allegedly reported to be in a partnership with Alphonso. The application is reported to use its built it content recognition technology to identify users and provide info to Alphonso. Unlike games and applications, Shazam, being a music app has access to a large number of microphones on smartphones. This gives access to Alphonso to collect and analyze more sound.


Rachit Singh is an Author, Marketer & Speaker. Owns scribbify. Contributes Columns and has been featured in many publications and blogs.

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