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posted by mrpg on Saturday April 16 2022, @05:39PM   Printer-friendly
from the hush dept.

You're muted... or are you? Videoconferencing apps may listen even when mic is off:

Kassem Fawaz's brother was on a videoconference with the microphone muted when he noticed that the microphone light was still on—indicating, inexplicably, that his microphone was being accessed.

[...] "It turns out, in the vast majority of cases, when you mute yourself, these apps do not give up access to the microphone," says Fawaz. "And that's a problem. When you're muted, people don't expect these apps to collect data."

[...] They found that all of the apps they tested occasionally gather raw audio data while mute is activated, with one popular app gathering information and delivering data to its server at the same rate regardless of whether the microphone is muted or not.

The researchers then decided to see if they could use data collected on mute from that app to infer the types of activities taking place in the background. Using machine learning algorithms, they trained an activity classifier using audio from YouTube videos representing six common background activities, including cooking and eating, playing music, typing and cleaning. Applying the classifier to the type of telemetry packets the app was sending, the team could identify the background activity with an average of 82% accuracy.

[...] "With a camera, you can turn it off or even put your hand over it, and no matter what you do, no one can see you," says Fawaz. "I don't think that exists for microphones."

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by MostCynical on Saturday April 16 2022, @09:06PM (1 child)

    by MostCynical (2589) on Saturday April 16 2022, @09:06PM (#1237536) Journal

    unless you have built or stolen the device you are using to access this site, you are a participant in society.
    There are rules, and expectations.

    you can choose not to participate, but then you are likely living in a cave..

    I quite like hospitals, libraries, schools, and living in a house.

    Get back to me when anarcho-syndicalism can ensure quality medical infrastructure.

    "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
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  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2022, @04:04AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2022, @04:04AM (#1237621)

    You don't understand. You can have all those things under anarcho-syndicalism, you just have to be strong and bootstrappy. If you can't get those things under anarcho-syndicalism, then you're a weakling moocher or vandal. The weak deserve to die of preventable diseases.