This is nuts…. It is not getting out of control, it IS out of control.
Ok, a few days back I blogged about how you can embed computer code in a photo, that code is hard to find, and it could well be malicious code.
That’s photo right…. Well, now you can add sound…..
Privacy advocates are warning federal authorities of a new threat that uses inaudible, high-frequency sounds to surreptitiously track a person’s online behavior across a range of devices, including phones, TVs, tablets, and computers.
The ultrasonic pitches are embedded into TV commercials or are played when a user encounters an ad displayed in a computer browser. While the sound can’t be heard by the human ear, nearby tablets and smartphones can detect it. When they do, browser cookies can now pair a single user to multiple devices and keep track of what TV commercials the person sees, how long the person watches the ads, and whether the person acts on the ads by doing a Web search or buying a product.
The user is unaware of the audio beacon, but if a smart device has an app on it that uses the SilverPush software development kit, the software on the app will be listening for the audio beacon and once the beacon is detected, devices are immediately recognized as being used by the same individual……. SilverPush’s company policy is to not “divulge the names of the apps the technology is embedded,” meaning that users have no knowledge of which apps are using this technology and no way to opt-out of this practice. As of April of 2015, SilverPush’s software is used by 67 apps and the company monitors 18 million smartphones.
This annoys me more than the code-in-a-photo exploit… mostly because that is just a possibility, it’s an interesting thought experiment (with some practical tests to prove it’s possible). As far as we know, it is not happening, this on the other hand…. 18 million smartphones are using this now… whether they know it or not.
Is tracking that big of a deal. No. I guess not. Ok, so some company knows what ad you watched and where you were when you watched it. No harm done, it is just information? Nah, she be right mate, what could go wrong?
I’m being a little silly, but this is a pretty big deal.
Mostly because TV’s are everywhere and ad’s are everywhere.
I’m not screaming. I’m depressed.