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Does Your Cell Phone "Flashlight" Spy on You?

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posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 07:38 AM
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Short quick rant here:

Having talked myself into getting a "smart" new phone, I was searching around on the internet for a flashlight app for it. Almost instantly, dozens turn up. I assume that the programing for that stuff is open source and anybody can pick up on it, create a graphic and be in business. Once deciding upon one that was to my liking, I started to download it but almost as an after thought--and which I rarely do, I decided to read the disclosure statement that was necessary to tap on to begin the download.

I could hardly believe my eyes! On it and, eventually, of several that I checked and what I assume to be a boiler-plate, industry standard was a short clear statement. It stated that you were giving the issuing company the right to turn on your CAMERA (via that app) at anytime it wished to do so.

I had earlier looked at compass apps. I'm going to take a wild leap here and suspect that it may have a similar disclosure saying the issuing company retains the right to turn on your GPS for their own needs if they wish. I wonder how widespread is this sneaky tactic of covert surveillance of ordinary citizens? I have an old hand-me-down Dell laptop that has the curious habit of the camera flashing in my face as I turn it on, but I just figured that was an app the former owner had installed.

The concept of personal privacy used to be fairly well defined as measured by common standards. But once we started allowing cookies to be place upon our computers back in the 1990s and despite some of us fussing about the practice, the feds did nothing to stop it. they didn't want to stop it. That is about where it became acceptable for government and industry (working either separately or in tandem) to steal into our personal lives to whatever degree they felt inclined.

Have we reached the stage where it is needless to read the fine print on any acceptance contract because somewhere in the fine print, spelled out exactly or explicitly implied, will be the required allowance that we submit to such forms of intense of surveillance tactics?




posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 07:44 AM
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I have stopped myself on multiple occasions from downloading said apps due to this exact reason. One for a mini game said i give permission to access my location, camera, phone records, phone book, the works. Couldn't shed any light onto what exactly the companies do with such agreements in place. As most already know, if you're not the customer then you're the product being sold.
edit on 14-4-2014 by MongusePro because: Spelling correction



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 07:44 AM
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reply to post by Aliensun
 

Not surprising.
I can understand why the commercial apps might want to know where you are via GPS to try to zero in on demographics to sell you stuff.
But taking photos while you are using the flashlight app? Sounds like the government has an interest there.



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 08:06 AM
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butcherguy
reply to post by Aliensun
 

Sounds like the government has an interest there.

And kiddie porn freaks.

Grown-ups know better (or they should) ... but tons of kids can't resist ... and then they forget, or they're too scared to tell their parents.



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 08:09 AM
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Snarl

butcherguy
reply to post by Aliensun
 

Sounds like the government has an interest there.

And kiddie porn freaks.

Grown-ups know better (or they should) ... but tons of kids can't resist ... and then they forget, or they're too scared to tell their parents.

Good to know, since I have two children that would be target age for them.
I didn't think of that.
Thanks.



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 08:31 AM
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It has to use the camera because that's how it turns the light on. It's the cameras light. If you didn't give it permission to use the camera, the OS would not let the app turn the camera light on.



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 08:33 AM
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Might try John McAfee's app -
www.futuretensecentral.com...



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 08:47 AM
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WP4YT
It has to use the camera because that's how it turns the light on. It's the cameras light. If you didn't give it permission to use the camera, the OS would not let the app turn the camera light on.


Since the camera and flash--or not--can be under the control of the person at will, it seems unlikely that the flash cannot be controlled separately. After all, we are talking about programming here. not actual switches. And stop and think about it, if they actuated the camera for their own reasons, would that mean the flash would have to flash (giving you a strong clue that they were spying)? No. Actually, more than likely, they could control the camera AND flash to their whim.



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 12:26 PM
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reply to post by Aliensun
 


Haha oh man....

Your smartphone, my smartphone, everyone's smartphone is spying on them: regardless of which apps you download.

Your cameras, microphones and speakers can be accessed at any time with no indication. Your location is not only accessible but is actually always recorded. Your contacts, texts, pictures and calls are all recorded. They can even place calls from your phone TO your phone...or anyone else for that matter.

If your phone is off it doesnt matter. Only removing the battery can protect you from government/private eavesdroppers. Now, most of the latest smartphones have non-removable batteries!

This is not new. Nor illegal (technically.) There was a bill passed to utilize these spying techniques legally to combat "organized crime." And it is common practice for business heads to remove their batteries and/or place all their phones in a sound proof box during important meetings.

Privacy in the modern world is a quickly fading dream. To me smartphones and internet usage in general are being used to create a new "Schindler's list."

But have no doubt: yes, your phone is spying on you; do act accordingly. Freedom of speech is a dangerous responsibility. Yes, we have reached that point.

Think of it like this: we are all now driving Ferraris on the information highway. When you're driving a car you are subject to be stopped, searched, questioned, recorded and you must provide documentation/identification. The same thing applies to internet/cellular useage.

Two sources for further reading:
hackers can use apps to access your phone

but police/government are way ahead of apps
edit on 14-4-2014 by Aqualung2012 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 12:45 PM
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Aliensun

WP4YT
It has to use the camera because that's how it turns the light on. It's the cameras light. If you didn't give it permission to use the camera, the OS would not let the app turn the camera light on.


Since the camera and flash--or not--can be under the control of the person at will, it seems unlikely that the flash cannot be controlled separately. After all, we are talking about programming here. not actual switches. And stop and think about it, if they actuated the camera for their own reasons, would that mean the flash would have to flash (giving you a strong clue that they were spying)? No. Actually, more than likely, they could control the camera AND flash to their whim.


Software is split up into software modules that handle different parts of the phone. The function calls that an application developer cann call belong to a particular API (Application Programming Interface). Here's the example on how to create a flashlight app:

www.androidhive.info...

Since Java involves object oriented programming. The "private camera" defines the object with the functions to allow the flashlight to be set on or off. In this case, we have to go through the camera API to set the flashlight on and off.



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 12:59 PM
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The real data is being collected through magnetic field produced by the battery. Soon there will be data readers that can playback events that are stored in magnets and crystals. Everything will be manifested in digital form. The current level of spyware that we are aware of is literal childsplay compared to what is really going on.



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 01:28 PM
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stormcell

Aliensun

WP4YT
It has to use the camera because that's how it turns the light on. It's the cameras light. If you didn't give it permission to use the camera, the OS would not let the app turn the camera light on.


Since the camera and flash--or not--can be under the control of the person at will, it seems unlikely that the flash cannot be controlled separately. After all, we are talking about programming here. not actual switches. And stop and think about it, if they actuated the camera for their own reasons, would that mean the flash would have to flash (giving you a strong clue that they were spying)? No. Actually, more than likely, they could control the camera AND flash to their whim.


Software is split up into software modules that handle different parts of the phone. The function calls that an application developer cann call belong to a particular API (Application Programming Interface). Here's the example on how to create a flashlight app:

www.androidhive.info...

Since Java involves object oriented programming. The "private camera" defines the object with the functions to allow the flashlight to be set on or off. In this case, we have to go through the camera API to set the flashlight on and off.




Ah. another explanation that seems to not want this to be a sinister gimmick. Perhaps so, but what the gainer of that program must click on in the "agree" contract does not state it that way. It is explicit in saying they can turn your camera on at their will. No excuse is given that it must be so to use the flashlight. And there is no reason given why they should have that outside capability. Anybody can check the precise wording of that contract by looking into downloading a flashlight app.
edit on 14-4-2014 by Aliensun because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 02:38 PM
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..give 'em something worth spying on?
put a yodeling CD on full volume, put the phone next to the speaker and leave the house for 6 hours



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 04:32 PM
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reply to post by Aliensun
 

This is certainly not new. We been talking for awhile now about clandestine viewing of your webcams and PSP...so just now the difference is they are starting out by flat-out telling you they are doing it.

I was suspicious from day one when webcams came out a long long time ago...and moreso with cellphone cameras.

And remember. Now they have phones and cameras that shoot from front and/or back. Sneaky huh???!!!

(And just like you...they make new products SO interesting and inviting that everyone wants one!) And I think too...thats been planned all along.



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