Did you know that many of the apps you download to your smartphone now use your microphone to listen to you and your camera to take pictures of you without your confirmation?
New terms of agreement contracts now being attached to app downloads require users to accept that their cellphones become literal monitoring devices that record conversations and surreptitiously take pictures without the user ever giving permission.
It’s been common knowledge for years that app companies and service providers use GPS technology to pinpoint the location of smartphone users.
However, after purchasing a new Samsung Galaxy Note II and proceeding to download a couple of Android apps, one a social networking app and the other a simple calendar, I was shocked to discover that users are mandated to relinquish every aspect of privacy imaginable in order to download the app.
As you can see from the image above, app companies now demand the right to;
– “Record Audio” – “Allows the app to record audio with the microphone. This permission allows the app to record audio at any time without your confirmation.”
– “Take pictures and videos” – “Allows the app to take pictures and videos with the camera. This permission allows the app to use the camera at any time without your confirmation.”
App companies are also requiring you to allow them to approximate your location, send SMS messages from your phone that cost you money, read your contacts, read your phone status and identity, get “full network access” to your communications (in other words listen to your phone calls), modify or delete the contents of your USB storage, and disable your screen lock (the 4 digit code that password-protects your phone).
Since the vast majority of people simply consent to terms of agreement without bothering to read them, this means that potentially millions of smartphone users all over the world have given app companies and by extension service providers permission to record their conversations and take pictures of their private life.
This has been allowed to pass virtually unnoticed with barely any press attention or privacy debate whatsoever.
Since smartphones are dependent on apps, users are being given the option to either not use them and render their expensive device largely redundant, or submit to have their private conversations and personal life catalogued as if they were trapped inside The Truman Show.