Shazam song-identification program keeps your mic on, even when you turn it off


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A profoundly unsecure ecosystem of networked electronic sensors users have little to no control over, in an economy where monetizing client data for sale to advertisers, hackers and spies is insanely lucrative and completely legal, spies on its mostly technologically illiterate users.

In other news, water is wet.


(only humanities use this phrase, according to Google Scholar. natural science seems to be uninterested testing this fascinating assumption)


I am going to go on a limb and say that this doesn’t matter. The fact that someone could maliciously alter the code to process the stream of data from an always-on mic is functionally equivalent to maliciously altering the code to set the mic to an always-on state. There isn’t a degree of vulnerability; either the app has been compromised or it has not.

To that end, the ultimate security of an app resides at the operating system level or (more broadly) the distribution system for those apps; Apple scores remarkably well in both those areas.

I’m still keeping Shazam. It’s magical.


Hanlon’s Razor.


I had to look it up. Thank you for leading me to learn the name of that saying!


It isn’t “getting around the operating system” at all. The Shazam app is running, and it can access the microphone. There’s nothing preventing that, same as any other OS.

It shouldn’t be accessing the microphone, but that’s an ethical consideration, not anything like an OS vulnerability.


Cheers, mate!


I feel so elderly each time BoingBoing exposes the latest privacy-destroying app that I did not know existed.


I don’t feel so bad that I accidentally severed the wires to the microphone when I repaired my old iMac before giving it to my daughter.


This is exactly why I uninstalled SoundHound


This could be good. The NSA American Top 40, based on what people are really listening to.


This is why I support Black Adam.


Sound Hound does it too? That’s what I use. :disappointed:


At least a year ago I noticed that my SoundHound android app said something about it was ‘always listening’ (which I had never noticed before) and I could not find a way to turn that off. I asked SH about it and they would not respond. So I uninstalled it. I do not know if the SoundHound app still does that.

(on the bright side, I found that I can just tap the mic of my (android) phone’s google search and ask: “what song is this?” and it does a pretty good job of identifying songs.)

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