SilverPush, a company based in India, offers mobile app developers a software development kit that includes “unique audio beacon technology”. The Silverpush code enables the app to access and use the mobile app’s microphone to listen for unique codes embedded in television audio signals.

The signals can determine what advertisements are being shown on a TV near the mobile device and collect the information for marketing and other analytical purposes. The code runs silently in the background, even when the app is not in use. Reportedly, a number of apps currentlyinstalled on millions of smartphones include the SilverPush code.

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent warning letters to a dozen app developers whose apps include the SilverPush code. The FTC focused on the fact that no disclosures were made by the developers to consumers about the use of their device’s microphone or the potential collection of audio signals. Access the FTC’s warning letter here. Contact us at Ossian Law regarding any information technology law matter.

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