Ultrasonic Beacons Using Your Apps Against You?

It’s something out of a campy comic. You know, the kind where Jim Carrey straps a blender to your head so your TV can suck the life out of you.

According to new research from Technische Universitat Braunschweig in Germany, our mobile apps could be tracking our movements and habits through ultrasonic beacons. Sounds like science-fiction, right?

The study focused on Android apps, saying over 200 apps are knowingly searching for this beacon connectivity. Alternately, only 4 stores actually erected this ultrasonic lighthouse to hail consumers as they walked by, their phones unknowingly working as they were tucked away in pockets and purses.

Right now, the uses of this technology, are being categorized as nearly benign. If you walk into a specific store, the right app can load coupons to aid in your shopping. How convenient!

However, the practical applications of this are terrifyingly broad. If a smart device can track your movements and spending habits, then smart TVs could be used to track your leisure habits and commercial preference. The real world could become a consumer-driven type of augmented reality where each TV, mobile device, or PC is in a constant state of flux to create a personalized, albeit intrusive, environment.

It’s reassuring, as a BlackBerry Android user, that I can utilize the DTEK app to check in on the apps on my phone. If there’s any suspicious activity, and I wish to curb it, then I can either set notifications to monitor it or delete the app entirely.

While technology may be continually working to “conveniently assist” us in every aspect of our lives, it’s great to know that BlackBerry continues to keep our privacy and security at the forefront by giving us tools to keep us aware and invested.



Erica Davis

Erica is a BlackBerry fanatic, supporter, and uses BlackBerry devices exclusively. She likes to connect the dots, fit the pieces together, and showcase the overshadowed... oh, and she likes cookies.