1.    04 May 2017 #1
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    In a house with a crazy cat trying to kill me
    Posts : 16,921
    Win 7 32, Win 7 64 Pro, Win 8.1 64 Pro, Win 10 64 Education Edition

    Hundreds of privacy-invading apps using ultrasonic sounds to track you

    Gotta admit, pretty damn interesting/inventive....and scary.

    A new privacy-busting technique that tracks consumers through the use of ultrasonic tones may have once sounded like the stuff of science fiction novels, but today it's reality.

    These near-silent tones can't be picked up by the human ear, but there are apps in your phone that are always listening for them. This technology is called ultrasonic cross-device tracking, and it works by emitting high-frequency tones in advertisements and billboards, web pages, and across brick-and-mortar retail outlets or sports stadiums.

    Apps with access to your phone's microphone can pick up these tones and build up a profile about what you've seen, where, and in some cases even the websites you've visited.

    The technology is still in its infancy, but it's growing in popularity.

    In the past year, researchers found 234 Android apps that include the ability to listen for ultrasonic tones "without the user's knowledge," one paper said.
    Hundreds of privacy-invading apps are using ultrasonic sounds to track you | ZDNet
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  2.    08 May 2017 #2
    Join Date : Nov 2015
    Pretoria South Africa
    Posts : 242
    Win 10 Pro Build 1703 15063.332

    This in spite of deliberately disabling the microphone for all apps?
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  3.    08 May 2017 #3
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    In a house with a crazy cat trying to kill me
    Posts : 16,921
    Win 7 32, Win 7 64 Pro, Win 8.1 64 Pro, Win 10 64 Education Edition
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff Daniell View Post
    This in spite of deliberately disabling the microphone for all apps?
    The article says you can't be sure if the app is listening or not unless it asks. Probably the best bet is disabling the mic for all apps, that is provided the app actually does as told & doesn't override that setting. It could be written into the EULA that you agree to this type of tracking by using the app.

    For one, it's not immediately known if an app contains this ad-tracking technology -- but if it asks for your microphone, that might be a dead giveaway.
    It's not as easy to know if an app has the ultrasonic technology built-in, but it's always wise to check your app permissions. If there's no reason for an app, like a game or a news app, to have access to your microphone, switch it off.
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  4.    08 May 2017 #4
    Join Date : Mar 2017
    Posts : 5,704
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro

    I have a Corsair Void headset and it is not ever plugged in unless I was to use it.
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