The use of ultrasound or infrasound emitted by our devices could be used to help us draw without our knowledge.
You liked the tracking cookies and retargeting ? You’re going to love the invasion of your privacy by using sounds that your ear can’t hear.
We had already seen that a computer screen emits a sound frequency inaudible by humans but which allows through a microphone to reconstruct what is displayed on the screen without the knowledge of its owner, for example during a VOIP call.
But the infrasound and ultrasound can also be used to communicate with electronic devices between them, such as a smartphone and a tv, and of course the two smartphones between them. Remember that the human ear can generally hear audio frequencies ranging from 20 Hz to 20 000 Hz, although the beaches of hearing individual vary. Audio frequencies below and above the threshold of human hearing, respectively, are known as infrasound, and ultrasound.
It is these frequencies that could be used in the case where a tv and send them to a smartphone, the content of the programs watched by its owner so that these data relate to an advertising agency who would send on the smartphone targeted ads on his taste in television. A communication totally undetectable that it’s easy to imagine what might be the drift.
A technology which arouses the greed of some companies advertising
As explained by our colleagues of The Register, some businesses have already put this kind of technology in practice, as Silverpush, an indian company specialized in the tracking tools for ad-based artificial intelligence. A warning from the FTC, the u.s. agency for the monitoring of trade in 2016, and a study published the following year identifying two-hundred and thirty-four Android applications listening secretly tags ultrasound, have contributed to discourage the trackers inaudible. But it remains that this “language” continues to attract the interest of the application developers. Create a code that communicates silently with mobile devices through a sound inaudible remains a possibility, both for the native applications to web applications, and security researchers continue to find new ways to use sound inaudible to the exfiltration of data.
However, the use of this type of technology may also have applications virtuous. This is the case, for example, a project to implement tracing anonymous Covid-19 in pregnancy in MyLuckyDay, a business in lyon specializing in mobile applications, which is already working on the ultrasound. According to its co-founder and CTO Thierry Demars, ” It emits a numerical value converted into frequencies of ultrasound (between 19KHz and 20Khz) and the re-decodes to the reading. The only permission to accept access to the microphone. The advantage is that the emission and the reception will work even if the screen is locked, this will not be the case of the future app StopCovid. We had already used this technology for a contemporary art show, where the plug of the artist appeared automatically in the app when you went near his stand. “The ultrasounds are also already used for operations legitimate, such as the application of the Cast of Google, for example, uses a token to ultrasound when it is coupled with a Chromecast nearby. Google also uses ultrasound in its SDK NearBy (available for iOS and Android), and which is used for the application of “alternative StopCovid” in the course of development to The Meeting.
In an email sent to The Register, Peter E. Snyder, a researcher on the private life in the Brave software and co-chairman of the PING, to make clear that these techniques could also be used for tracking between different areas of the internet : sites could transmit sounds that are inaudible to other open pages could listen to it, thus allowing the type of tracking cross-domain. A drift that the developers of the navigator Brave attempt to counteract them by working on various audio APIS.
Evil, is it not ?
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