Shocking! Users getting ads based on private PHONE calls
You must have seen advertisements online while scrolling through your social media or reading any article online that are all based on your recent web-searches. But have you ever received an ad related to the conversation that you just had with someone on the phone, especially relating to a product or service? And when you went on to a website or app, the same product/service advertisement popped up. Well, if that happened, then you are not alone! Because a new survey conducted by community social media platform LocalCircles revealed that 1 in every 2 citizens in India receive ads based on their private phone conversations.
The survey revealed the shocking outcome that about 53 percent of Indian citizens have said that they had at least one instance in the last 12 months where they received advertisements on the web or app based on their phone conversations. Not just that, the report also revealed that the majority of the Indian citizens have given access to their smartphone's microphone for audio calls, video calls, social media, and more. Also Read: This horrifying WhatsApp scam can hijack your account with just a phone call
According to those who have had such an experience, 28 percent say it happens quite frequently, 19 percent say it has happened several times, and 6 percent say it has happened a few times. Only 24 percent of citizens believe it has never happened. Approximately 84 percent of smartphone users admitted to giving WhatsApp access to their contact list, 51 percent to Facebook or Instagram or both, and 41 percent to caller information apps like Truecaller. Also Read: Using Gmail? Beware of this new email scam, DON’T fall for these fake email, just do this
This is alarming! As the access to the microphone and conversation going on a phone call could easily lead to financial frauds without even any awareness of how the personal information is getting compromised. A few reports indicate that turning off the microphone can help prevent apps and phones from listening to your personal conversations. Nevertheless, it is not a viable option for many apps as they require the phone’s microphone for several tasks such as speech to text, call, record voice, and more. Well, it is also true that users rarely go through the process of turning a microphone ‘On’ and ‘Off’ according to their need. Reason? Simply that they may not be aware that their phone microphones are being used for purposes other than the service they require.
Notably, the Indian government is yet to approve the “Personal Data Protection Bill 2019” which aims to provide legislative and statutory protection to users’ or citizens’ personal information and recognises protecting the data of individuals as their rights. LocalCircles mentioned that it will share the findings with the IT ministry for necessary action.