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Home / Tips and Tricks / Privacy 101: How to Prevent Apps from Accessing Your iPhone's Microphone «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks

Privacy 101: How to Prevent Apps from Accessing Your iPhone's Microphone «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks



Any app on your iPhone might be able to overhear your conversations and use this information to target you with custom ads. Even though most companies, including Facebook and Apple, have come out and these allegations of spying on consumers have vehemently denied, who says they're telling the truth? The only way to make sure you are safe is to take matters into your own hands.

Regardless of how transparent some companies may appear, they still have the business of making money, and learning everything about them can make them billions. In this article, we'll explain the technology that these applications allow you to listen to and how you can prevent them from accessing the microphone of your smartphone or tablet. Even if these apps do not listen to all your conversations, it's better to be safe than that.

Listening to gaming apps on you?

Already in December 201

7, the New York Times released a This article describes how certain mobile gaming apps monitor their users by listening to certain sounds through the microphone of the smartphone. With software from a company called Alphonso that collects display data for advertisers, certain gaming applications can use your phone's microphone to hear what you see and listen to audio in the background played by your TV, including game consoles, TV shows , Streaming programs and ads. The information is then analyzed and compared with your location (yes, they can also track your location) to find out which ads caused you to go to a restaurant or a retailer.

When you visit Alphonso's website, they even have it a template for mobile app developers to copy and paste into their app descriptions. It explains how to monitor your Alphonso Automated Content Recognition ("ACR") built-in apps. However, it's important to keep in mind three things: 1) Audio samples do not leave your device, but are instead "hashed into digital audio signatures." 2) The ACR software "does not recognize or understand human conversations" and, most importantly, 3) The software can only access your phone's microphone with your consent.

Editor's Note : At the time of publishing this article, we were unable to find applications for ACR listening software in the App Store.

& # 39; Hey Siri & # 39; and other triggers

Unfortunately, these malicious gaming apps can not be the only ones that can overhear. Use trigger Siri ( "Hey Siri") or Google ("Okay Google") prompt? In that case, these applications will listen to you and have the potential to record your conversations. Although Apple has recently sent a letter to Reuters alleging that their devices are not recording audio while listening to Siri commands, lying is no question for the technology giant.

What's worse is that other applications on your smartphone like Facebook and Instagram, there could be hundreds or thousands of hidden triggers, though they suspect what they are. A conversation about buying new glasses could activate the trigger. When this happens, audio recordings can be recorded and data transmitted in encrypted form, making tracking almost impossible. Luckily, applications can only hear you and triggers can only be activated if you have access to your microphone.

Step 1: Do not give apps access to the microphone

When you download and use an application for the first time, you may need to grant access to your smartphone's microphone. While it makes sense for some apps (WhatsApp ), it may not be necessary for others (Fortnite). When an application prompts you to access the microphone, tap "Do not allow." Even if you give an application access to the microphone, you can access and uncheck the settings later at any time.

Note that access to the microphone is lifted The microphone may interfere with certain features in some apps. For example, in the picture above, Amazon's voice search feature does not work without microphone access. If this becomes a problem, you can re-enable microphone access over and over using the instructions in the next step, but you should do so sparingly and only on apps that you specifically trust.

Step 2: Remove Microphone Access for Third-Party Apps

To remove microphone access to a third-party application after it has been granted, simply go to the Settings app and tap Privacy, then Microphone ". A list of all third-party applications that have access to your microphone will be displayed.

Step 3: Disable "Hey Siri"

Not all applications with access to Your microphone will appear under Microphone including Siri If you would like Siri to constantly hear the "Hey Siri" trigger, disable the feature Go to the Settings app and tap on "Siri & Search." Scroll down and turn off "Hey Siri Listen." Although Siri your M microphone is still used when you turn it on, it does not actively listen to you in the background.

Do not miss: Everything What You Must Disable for Maximum Security on Your iPhone

Nelson Aguilar / Gadget Hacks Cover Screenshots and Screenshots

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