We want our homes to be as smart as possible: our computer communicates with our mobile phone, our TV with our tablet. New technologies make it possible and, as a consequence, our everyday life becomes easier. What many consumers do not want, however, is the so-called audio tracking. Ultrasound communication is used not only to share information, but it can also track users and their behaviour across multiple devices, similar to cookies on the web.
Most consumers are unaware of this and, so far, they were unable to protect themselves against it. For this reason, UAS researchers used this as a starting point for their project SoniControl.
Convincing First Ultrasonic Firewall
SoniControl is the first firewall to detect ultrasonic activity, alert users and block information, if necessary. This is how the mobile application protects our privacy. The app is currently the only ready-to-use solution that detects and prevents unwanted audio tracking in the ultrasonic field.
As the numbers show, an app like this is in great demand – it has already been downloaded more than 40,000 times.
Researcher Matthias Zeppelzauer explains the principle behind SoniControl:
App Available in Google Play Store
The follow-up project SoniControl 2.0 worked on further developing the app to make it even more attractive to users. Among other things, detailed diagnostic functions have been added to the firewall which, in addition to specifying the type/protocol of the message, also provide an audible and visual representation of the detected data package. Moreover, a feature to share recognised ultrasonic transmission sources was developed that allows users to benefit from each other for an even more effective protection.
The app is currently in the open beta phase in which users are invited to test the app. Please provide the project team with feedback regarding usability and the app in general.
Our researchers Florian Taurer, Matthias Zeppelzauer or Alexis Ringot are happy to listen to your feedback in a personal conversation. You can also send your comments and suggestions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download the app in the App Store and share your impressions!