Google “has effectively turned millions of its users’ smartphones into listening devices that can capture intimate conversations – even when they aren’t in the room,” Margi Murphy reports for The Sun. “If you own an Android phone, it’s likely that you’ve used Google’s Assistant, which is similar to Apple’s Siri. Google says it only turns on and begins recording when you utter the words ‘OK Google.’ But a Sun investigation has found that the virtual assistant is a little hard of hearing.”

“In some cases, just saying ‘OK’ in conversation prompted it to switch on your phone and record around 20 seconds of audio,” Murphy reports. “It regularly switches on the microphone as you go about your day-to-day activities, none the wiser.”

“Once Google is done recording, it uploads the audio files to its computer servers – often dubbed ‘the cloud.’ These files are accessible from absolutely anywhere in the world – as long as you have an internet connection. That means any device that is signed into your personal Gmail or Google account can access the library of your deepest, darkest secrets. So if you’re on a laptop right now and signed into Gmail – you could have a listen,” Murphy reports. “The Sun Online discovered recordings from when the phone’s owner was not in the room – and even revealed a romantic interlude between two mystery colleagues.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: People who value their privacy certainly do not use Google products.

This ‘don’t be evil’ mantra: It’s bullshit.Steve Jobs, 2010

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