In the warnings to twelve Android app developers, the FTC told twelve developers that it was aware that their apps featured SilverPush. While the apps will request microphone permissions the apps don’t actually need these permissions.
The letter points out that SilverPush stated that its software isn’t in use in U.S television advertising, but the FTC is still suspicious given that the software in the apps operates in a fashion similar fashion.
The software will listen out for background noise from electronic devices—computers, TV, radio, etc—to pick up the “audio beacons” from commercials and programs. From there, advertisers get a good idea of what to present to the app user.
So far the Federal Trade Commission isn’t firmly pointing the finger at SilverPush, but it is definitely letting the company and app developers know that these kinds of advertising practices won’t be tolerated in the future.