Cybersecurity team found that phones do not actually spy on their users

Source: Press Association   Over the past few years, the topic of listening to the conversations of mobile devices with mobile devices has been raised several times on the Web. It’s not about the phones themselves, but about applications that use a microphone to listen to what a person is talking about. Then the user is shown an advertisement relevant to his interests – in the browser or the application itself.   According to supporters of this point of view, almost all ups of large technology companies, including Facebook and Google, spy on users. Placed on the network and video when a person talks about something next to the phone, and then sees an advertisement on the network related to the content of the conversation. In order to find out whether this is true or not, Wandera, an information security company, conducted its own investigation.   The study participants used two devices – from Samsung and Apple. Phones put in the “audio room.” For 30 minutes, indoor advertising of food for cats and dogs was cyclically reproduced. They installed Facebook, Instagram, Chrome, Snapchat, YouTube, and Amazon on their phones, giving these applications access to the microphone, camera, and all the other features that were requested.   Researchers then launched the sites and services of companies whose applications were installed on phones. The goal is to calculate the amount of advertising relevant to the study and evaluate the traffic from devices during the test.   Then the experiment was repeated. However, the researchers found neither feed advertisements nor growth in traffic transmission or energy consumption.           In addition to the “audio room” with its telephones, there were also control devices that were placed in rooms without advertising and generally without noise. As it turned out, the control devices behaved in much the same way as the test gadgets, which were given the opportunity to “listen” to the advertisement.   According to a representative of Wandera, the fact that the control group of phones and test devices behaved in approximately the same way, without increasing energy consumption, traffic, etc., can be considered evidence of the absence of spyware actions by applications.   If this were so, then the applications would consume about as much traffic as the digital assistants of the phones that were in active mode.   As for technology companies, they are often accused of spying on users. Mark Zuckerberg even had to speak in the US Senate, answering questions about the actions of Facebook in relation to users.   It should be noted that during the study it turned out that Android phones consumed significantly more traffic in “quiet” rooms compared to Apple devices. But iOS-applications consumed more traffic in the “audio rooms”.           Nevertheless, the head of the company conducting the investigation is sure that there is no wiretapping. He stated that he was responsible for his own “good name” for the results of the experiment. Perhaps the company missed something, but this is unlikely.   But even the fact that there is no wiretapping does not cancel the fact of observing users – other methods are simply used, including tracking the location, tracking pixels, history of visits to sites, etc.