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Ultrasound Firewall for Mobile Phones


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An ultrasound firewall for mobile phones.

Researchers at the St. Plten University of Applied Sciences have developed an ultrasound firewall technology for mobile devices.

Credit: Matthias Zeppelzauer/St. Plten University of Applied Sciences

Researchers working on the SoniControl project at St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences in Austria have developed the first ultrasound firewall for mobile devices in the form of a mobile application that detects acoustic cookies, brings them to the attention of users, and blocks the tracking if necessary.

The researchers had to come up with a method to detect different existing ultrasound-transmission techniques reliably and in real time. Such ultrasonic signals can be used for "cross-device tracking," which makes it possible to monitor a user's behavior across multiple devices, and relevant user profiles can be merged with one another.

The new procedure transmits interference signals using the speaker of a mobile device, masking and blocking the ultrasonic data transfer. Acoustic cookies can be neutralized by this process before operating systems or mobile applications can access them, and users can selectively block cookies without affecting the functionality of their device.

From St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences
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