Internet privacy is kind of an oxymoron. Everything you input cannot be guaranteed safety because websites can gain a profit by selling your personal information to third parties. Many sites ask you to type in an array of personal information into their signup page. However, a new app called “Moodies” hopes to get your information in a new and slightly invasive manner: your voice.
“Moodies” is run by the Israeli company Beyond Verbal, which advertises itself as “the emotions analytics company.” The app uses your phone’s microphone to analyze your voice and diagnose your current mood. To get the app to identify it, all you have to do is speak for about 20 seconds and then wait for the app’s on-the-spot analysis. Each mood has a description and a cartoon character expressing the sentiment.
For example, after talking to it, I received an analysis with several emotions including: “self control: conflict between desires and actual behavior” and ”detail oriented.” The description was pretty accurate actually, considering that instead of hosting a Friends marathon like I wanted to, I was doing my homework. However, because the app uses patterns from other voices to analyze yours, it is not always completely accurate.
Many companies have begun using the “Moodie” voice analyzing software during job interviews for lie detection. In addition, some call-centers use the program to deal with aggressive or agitated customers. This use concerns some as it can be considered a violation of privacy and, if the person is not aware of the program, it could actually break privacy laws.