A new warning has been issued to iPhone users. Apps downloaded to the smartphones can turn on the phone’s camera and take pictures at any time, and it’s doing it secretly.
Felix Krause, an Austrian developer who works for Google, built an app that was able to take pictures of its user every second and upload them, without the app or the phone ever notifying the user. He called it a “privacy loophole that can be abused by iOS apps.” When an app wants to access the camera, for example, to scan a credit card or take a profile picture during the set-up process, the iPhone user must give the app permission to access the camera, in the same way that apps must ask to access the camera roll, location, and contact information and to send notifications. Once allowed, it has to be turned off via the settings menu. But most don’t do that.
Apple has now been urged to change the way in which iPhone apps are granted access to the phone’s camera after Krause boldly demonstrated how the apps can secretly record photos and videos without the user knowing. Krause said that once an app has been granted initial access, it can take photos and videos whenever it is opened up. Unlike on Mac computers, which have a small green light next to the camera when it is being used, there is no indication that an app is recording videos or taking photos, or when it sends them elsewhere.
The system works similarly with Android phones, but Krause’s apps were made specifically for iPhones. Google has recently deleted several apps that surreptitiously recorded users and masqueraded as legitimate apps.
The app permissions are indefinite too. They apply to both the front and back camera, as well a video. Allowing camera permissions can grant extra access in the latest version of iOS, which has a facial recognition engine that could allow apps to detect emotions.
The permissions system is not a bug or a flaw either. It works in exactly the way Apple has designed it to. Krause said malicious apps could take advantage of the permissions system to surreptitiously record users at any time.
He warned that other apps could monitor users’ emotions as they scroll through a social network news feed, record what they are saying, or live stream video of them in the bathroom as they tap away at a smartphone game. –Telegraph UK
Krause suggested that Apple introduce a system of temporary permissions. One which allows apps to take a picture during the set-up process, but revokes it after a period of time. Or they could introduce a warning light or notification to the iPhone that tells people when they are being recorded.
I cant wait to wrap mine up in hamburger and feed it to a bear in the woods as i walk off in a different direction
I don’t own a “smart phone” and i never will. I am older and don’t need a phone with computer or to take pictures. I have a computer at home and i have a digital camera for pics. I have a cheap Trac phone and i just use it for calls and texts., and in fact i only text a few people and i rarely talk on it. It costs me $30 a month for “minutes” and sometimes it lasts me two months which is $15 a month. I can’t see paying $800 for a phone. I don’t like the fact that we can be tracked by the phone either, so when i am not using it which is often, i put it in a metal can and the frequencies can not go thro meta. Who needs a smart phone? Not me!
Just saying based on my own life. No one ‘needs’ a cell/smartphone. Period. No one ‘needs’ to carry a camera constantly. Not a mic, a mechanism to surf the ‘net or any other possible use that one may think they ‘have’ to have to do business, be a family member, stay in touch with friends. It is quite liberating to live sans some device clutched in my hand. I actually talk to people face to face, live by a schedule and have to keep my word – no changing due to some influx of outside circumstance not in my immediate vicinity. I live like we all use to before these wonders of communication. Tell me – anyone – prove to me – anyone…. that as a world, a society we are more connected as humans to each other due to all these so-called miracles of progress? Since the dawn of the computer-age it has been a downhill slide into this pit of …….. separation.
If you’re busy with a meaningful and successful business then you have a phone, those living in mother’s basement playing games all year – not. For Android, and if you’re cheap like me, get NoRoot Firewall [you get to grant each app permission to connect to internet individually, thus you can block apps like flashlight from “phoning home”, I allow very few apps to connect to the net], get Microphone Blocker app by frenzycoders [don’t worry you phone mic still works when calling], get Camera Blocker app. by frenzycoders. Block internet permission to Microphone and Camera Blockers, and all other apps that you feel don’t need to connect to the web. Both Microphone and Camera Blockers apps have in settings , a list of all other apps that use the mic or camera, along with data for each app showing the amount of mb’s they loaded onto the net. Not a perfect security solution but OK for now. Never ever NEVER EVER connect to any wi-fi network other than you own home/business network. I don’t care if McDonalds has free internet, DON’T TRUST IT, anyone can create a fake net and name it whatever they want!! It’s OK to connect using your own wi-fi phone carrier network.
(I have a mental image of a Boomer, making a Tucker Carlson face, at the computer screen.)
For all the reasons you just told us, “successful” people are going to make you put it in writing (or some legally binding way), and do not casually accept calls, from different timezones. Needy people, from your business and private life, will never let you get anything done, if you are forever on-call. You prettymuch have to turn it off, to be functional.
It would conceivably be useful, for safety reasons, but I couldn’t imagine having this on my person, during my down time.
Obsolete, sacrificial units are given to destructive children and mental children, to keep them preoccupied, where there is public wi-fi. It’s used for Sudoku and Happy Wheels — never anything which requires the undivided attention of a responsible adult. It is still, mainly a toy, also a money pit.
A wide majority of the people, trying to walk and drive with these things, can’t be explained in a social-utilitarian, Malthusian kind-of way, though you feel it makes you more-important.
I’m using a Android phone, don’t know much about it. I keep seeing lists of apps to install but have backed off the page and not installed any. Less clutter is better and seems logical.
You should take this as a command from GOD :
Thou shalt NOT install any app unless it is from the PLAYSTORE, which itself is an app that you opened on your phone.
So, if you are on a webpage, and it says “download our useful app” – DO NOT DO IT.
If you THINK you might want it, go to the PLAYSTORE and search for it and then install it ONLY FROM THERE.
Mac, a list of the apps that doing that crap would be very helpful so people will know which apps to avoid. I also have an android phone so I’m extremely selective about what apps I download. BTW, I do directly download them from the play store.
Why is this surprising??
Years ago, Radio Shack sold a device that picked up conversations using a cell phone even with cell turned off!!!
I watched a video of someone listening to a girl and her friend having lunch with the phone on the table, turned off!
Best bet is be like me. I refuse to have one of these phones. Anyone using one gets what they deserve. They will NOT ever be able to do those things to me. Because I don’t own one. Do not need one. How can sheeple be so stoopid??? If we all threw them out we could implode the economy.
Warning. If you have security cameras, change the codes immediately. A guy I know uses his phone app to randomly type in codes. He can watch people inside their homes without their knowledge. He can redirect the camera from his phone. In some cases he talks to the people on the camera. He can access cameras worldwide. Creepy. Real creepy.
Turn it on and take as many pics as you want. And what will they do with said pics? Watch my boring life we are not that important. Don’t worry about it.