Your apps could be watching you and recording your conversations – study finds

(PHOTO: Gallo/Getty Images)
(PHOTO: Gallo/Getty Images)

According to a recent article on MSN news, some of the popular apps run on your android phone could be actively listening to you, while you’re using you’re phone.

Researchers compiled a study showing that the apps monitor your habits consistently and even take screenshots you’re not aware of, sending them to various third parties.

David Choffnes, a professor at Boston’s Northeastern University explained, “We found out that every app has the ability to record your screen and anything you type.”Some of these screenshots could be your personal details such as, usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and other valuable details or information you would never want to be disclosed.”

Also proven was that 17 000 of these apps on the android operating system, used an automated test programme written by students.  Therefore in all, 9000 of the 17 000 apps showed the potential to take screenshots, meaning the rest of the 6000 did not show any potential to take voluntary screenshots.

Founder and CEO of iAfrkan Digital and Tech analyst Tefo Mohapi told Drum that some apps from the Play Store show a pop up or permission the app could have access to.

“People usually click on ok and carry on to install the app, without checking what specific permissions are required by the app and a lot of apps usually require permission for them to function”.

Tefo also elaborated that sometimes it can be a tricky situation as these apps would not download if they don’t get your required permission. Therefore it usually becomes an individual’s choice to decide whether they will go ahead downloading the app.

The research finding will be presented at the Privacy Enhancing Technology Symposium Conference in Barcelona this month. The Petsymposium org also saw the event as a way of bringing people together to discuss recent advances and new perspectives on research in privacy technologies.


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