COLDSKY – Chinese news aggregator Toutiao has denied the accusation that it collected user conversations secretly through smartphone microphones and then pushed an ad.
Toutiao said none of its products for video recording can automatically get microphone permission unless the user approves. The statement also said current technology has not matured enough to disable user privacy through a microphone.
Xu Mingxing, deputy director of the Tsinghua University Beijing d-Ear Joint Voiceprint Lab, said smartphones are certainly able to secretly record a user’s voice and identify keywords with advertisement values, although technically voice recognition is not yet 100 percent accurate.
Dr. Qu Xiaofeng with the Biometrics Research Centre at Hong Kong Polytechnic University said voice recognition now works better within 20 centimeters of a phone and he is not certain if Toutiao applies wiretapping techniques used by the CIA and NSA on app users.
New York Times reported last February that “hundreds” of apps use smartphone microphones to track user viewing habits, and Chinese experts have expressed concerns to leiphone.com.
Chinese story source: https://www.leiphone.com/news/201801/9tQHYe9RG51Qj0Mk.html