The Olympics are supposed to be an international event that helps bring countries together, not tear them apart. However, that is what seems to be happening with the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, which have already provoked several diplomatic incidents.
The fault lies with the MY2022 application, which all athletes will have to install on their mobile phones in order to attend the games and compete in them. An analysis of said app has now revealed that it allegedly all audio from olympic participants is collected, is analyzed and then sent to Chinese servers.
Some countries are beginning to recommend their athletes to use disposable mobiles
Says Johanthan Scott, a cybersecurity expert who published on GitHub a detailed analysis of the application carried out through reverse engineering. According to this study, “all the audio of the [atletas] olympic is collected, analyzed and stored on Chinese servers using technology from an artificial intelligence company banned by the United States.
After reverse engineering all of the #Beijing2022 #spyware app for @Apple #ios and @Google #Android
I can definitively say all Olympian audio is being collected, analyzed and saved on Chinese servers using tech from USA blacklisted AI firm @iflytek1999 https://t.co/9wX1sP8PZP pic.twitter.com/hdIfiKX37m
— Jonathan Scott (@jonathandata1) January 26, 2022
Just a few days ago, CitizenLab experts at the University of Toronto did a similar analysis and they also detected disturbing aspects of the MY2022 application, which among other things is used to verify that athletes have the vaccination cycle of COVID-19.
In that study they explained how, although the application clarifies what data is collected, it does not specify how and with whom that medical information is shared, if at all. Furthermore, they added, “MY2022 includes features that allow users to flag “politically sensitive” content“. For this body, the application violates international laws and the privacy policies of both the Google Play Store and the Apple AppStore.
That research already indicated that iFlytek’s audio harvesting technology was only used when using the translation feature, but Scott explained that this statement was imprecise, Y data collection is constant Y extends to transaction records, bank card information and other items, as described by one of the third-party APIs integrated into the application.
In fact Scott rated iFlytek as “a well-known Chinese spyware company” which is also on the black list of the United States – like Huawei – for scandals such as the one that affected the human rights of the uyghur population.
The statements of this researcher are of course worrying, and the truth is that the suspicions about possible espionage and monitoring of athletes has led several countries to act to prevent incidents.
In both the Netherlands and the UK, athletes have been asked to do not take your cell phones or computers to China during the Games, and in the United States, too, it is giving a clear message to its athletes: used disposable mobiles.