More than 200 apps in Android track its users with ultrasound

the wide variety of sensors installed on a mobile device makes it possible to collect data from different angles, but there is an option that is gaining popularity quickly, and is uXDT Ultrasound Cross-Device Tracking . A group of researchers in the Technical University of Braunschweig published a study which shows that the number of apps are fitted with at least one variant of uXDT went from 39 in December 2015 to 234 in his latest analysis.

imagine for a moment that your mobile device responds to an advertisement on television. Technically something similar happened already with Burger King and Google but in our example the answer is spontaneous and unexpected. There is nothing in the announcement that «call» to your smartphone so to speak. Now, we move that to a store. Once you enter, its official application offers you a «reward» in the form of discounts or special offers. All this seems exaggerated, however, the technology already exists. Ultrasound Cross-Device Tracking was named also known as uXDT and has several developers in the market, including Shopkick, Lisnr, and SilverPush, which already had a couple of rods with the U.S. FTC. UXDT-enabled applications access the microphone of the device to hear certain «headlights ultrasonic» issued by external ads (TV, radio, sistemas de voz en centros comerciales, etc.) with a frequency of 18 to 20 kHz. The user is not disturbed by these lighthouses, but are there.

the Big Data sees, and hears more and more: the ultrasound at the service of advertising

a new study published by researchers from the Technical University of Brunswick reports that the adoption of uXDT is moving. In a visit to 35 stores distributed in two European cities, they discovered that four already use uXDT to locate their clients, although this requires manual opening of its official apps. Analysis on SilverPush SDK use revealed that in April 2015, there were only six applications equipped with this technology, but the number rose to 39 in December of the same year, and the last scan detected a total of 234 applications . The study does not include a complete list apps (sólo sabemos que tienen millones de descargas) and the only names that have transcended are McDonald’s and Krispy Kreme.

the study reports that it was not detected any kind of ultrasonic lighthouse on television broadcasts, but we estimate is a matter of time . Apart from the effectiveness of uXDT, its mere existence stresses the need for study permits requesting each Android app on the device. Access to the microphone to something that does not offer voice services should be a major alert, even if the app if the app sets a persistent notification and a process in the background.

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