Tuesday, February 2, 2016

People turn their smartphones into spying devices for just $5/month

Last month, Wired introduced us to “Symphony, the company that tracks Netflix’s elusive ratings.” Netflix famously doesn’t release information about how many people watch its shows and movies, but Symphony Advanced Media reported that 4.8 million people aged 18-49 watchedJessica Jones and 3.8 million in the same group watched Master of None.How did Symphony come up with these secretive numbers? By turning thousands of people’s phones into listening devices.


Symphony Advanced Media, founded in 2010, has recruited over 15,000 people to be part of its “panel of media insiders.” They downloaded an app from Symphony that collects a ton of information from their smartphones, and turns on their microphones every minute for 5-6 seconds to see what they’re watching on their TV or computer. Here’s how Symphony describes on its website what it knows about each individual in its panel:

Read more here.

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