The NSA isn’t the only ones capable of tapping phone calls anymore thanks to a new smartphone app called ‘Crowdpilot,’ which could potentially let anyone listen in on your calls without your knowledge.
“Crowdpilot lets you crowdsource your social interactions by bringing a group of your friends or strangers along to listen in and assist you in any situation,” the app’s description states. “Whenever you need help, turn on Crowdpilot to stream your conversation to the web where the anonymous crowd – optionally supported by a team of your Facebook friends – will tune in, follow along and assist you. Or become a crowdpilot yourself, and watch and direct others!”
Crowdpilot lets any user bring a third party into a conversation without alerting the person on the other end of the line – the modern day equivalent of picking up a landline while someone else is already on a call.
The app even allows the third party to talk to the app user without the other caller’s knowledge. Upon launching Crowdpilot, users are given a choice of people to get in-call “advice” from, including Facebook friends, total strangers, or “experts” for $0.99.
After choosing a secret co-conspirator, users select from a list of “situations” describing the reason for the call including date, argument, meeting, consolation, etc. Listeners can then give vocal or text advice while they listen in.
Artist and software engineer Lauren McCarthy developed the app, which suggests to users that they notify their callers of someone listening in, but does not force them to do so.
According to a GA Daily News report, McCarthy is not making any profit from the app, which she described as a social experiment.
“Will it make us more connected or turn us into total robots?” McCarthy said. “We’re trying to make people directly confront these questions. Maybe you’ll think it’s terrifying. Or maybe you’ll find it’s actually it’s kind of wonderful and fun. And where does that leave you?”