Secret messages hidden in TV adverts can order smartphones to spy on people, researchers warn

That’s the shocking revelation in a new piece of research which exposes the scary snooping techniques corporations are using to pry into people’s lives in unprecedented detail.

A team of German academics have noticed a huge growth in the number of Android apps that are designed to look out for inaudible “ultrasonic” signals.

These signals contain a code that orders the apps to begin tracking people’s location, work out what they are watching on television and even expose intimate secrets about their personal life, such as their political affiliation or love of pornography.