App Developers May Be Unknowingly Bundling Spyware into Products

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As technology moves to the forefront of our lives, we begin to experience the negative side of each progression. To no surprise, security and privacy issues have surfaced as more and more software, websites, and apps are developed for smartphone, tablet, and desktop use.

Hackers and developers with bad intentions are not new to the industry. Since the onset of the internet, big names and individuals alike have been on the receiving end of spyware attacks. As technology advances, the dangers of this seem to increase, mostly due to just how much we use our mobile devices and how many features can now be affected by bad software or applications.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission recently notified 12 smartphone app developers about a breach in users’ privacy through an audio monitoring software that was packaged with their products. An Indian company called SilverPush developed software which uses a smartphone’s microphone to listen to nearby television audio, which is designed to monitor users’ viewing habits to deliver more personalized advertisements. This software was bundled into the apps created by 12 developers, available in the Google Play store.

This software is designed to silently run in the background, even when the user is not signed into the application. This could be a violation of users’ privacy and security rights under the section of the FTC Act barring deceptive and unfair business practices. As always, developers and users alike must be careful about the features of apps and added software.

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