Big brother is definitely watching you or you can just say the tech companies are monitoring what you do in real life and on your phone. In a startling new revelation, Google knows about your physical activities and the apps you use thanks to sneaky little Android permission called “Activity Recognition.”
The smartphone sensors can monitor and can even understand your movements based on what is happening to the phone and can disclose them. The app permission was discussed at Reddit and was highlighted by DuckDuckGo last week.
Mind you, the Android app permission is not new but by the looks of it, most of the users were unaware of this sneaky feature. The developers with this permission have access to figure out what you are doing at any given time.
How Activity Recognition Works?
According to Google, the Activity Recognition API is built on top of the sensors available in a device which provide insights into what users are currently doing.
So with this permission, your device can tell the developers when you’re moving, in a car or vehicle, walking, running etc. It can also relay when you’re doing two things at once like walking while being on a bus.
Activity Recognition stays and monitor activities in the background and can perform an action when it detects a certain activity like when you start running it can check for your heart rate etc.
The Trouble with this Permission
Undoubtedly, in many apps it is useful but it is quite difficult to see which apps ask for this permission as Google has placed it in the “Other” categories and you cannot deny or disable it.
Recently, many other apps have also started to request Activity Recognition that unlike any fitness app doesn’t require to monitor the person’s activities like Shazam and SoundHound.
Activity Recognition is also a part of Google Play, which runs in the background and provides the third parties help with authentication, privacy services, and location services upon the user’s agreement
How to Stop the lurking third-party apps
The only way to stop the apps to monitor your phone’s physical activities is to kill the app’s processes by:
- Opening the settings
- Go to Apps
- Force Stop the apps that are using Activity Recognition
Once the app is alive and running again when you open it, you’ll have to repeat the procedure again.