“When the first home assistants were announced, I was excited. A device I could wake up with a simple hotword that would answer my questions, set reminders, turn on the TV, and dim the lights, all without me having to get off the couch, sounded fantastic. Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot, Google’s Home, and a myriad others, most recently the Home Mini, have invaded our kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms. Heck, I put one in the bathroom,” Artem Russakovskii reports for Android Police. “I didn’t give too much thought to these privacy concerns because they all sounded theoretical and unlikely.”
MacDailyNews Take: Typical fragmandroid settler thought pattern. As in: flatlined.
“My four Google Homes and three Echos sat quietly on their respective desks and counters, and only turned on when one of three things happened: I called out a hotword (Alexa for Echos and Hey or OK Google for Homes). A video I was watching or podcast I was listening to did this (I’m looking at you, Marques!) They heard a noise or word that they thought sounded like a hotword but in reality was not. This happened once or twice every few days,” Russakovskii reports. “That is until last week, when a 4th case came along – 24/7 recording, transmission to Google’s servers, and storing on them of pretty much everything going on around my Home Mini, which I had just received at the Made by Google October 4th launch event.”
“It was waking up thousands of times a day, recording, then sending those recordings to Google,” Russakovskii reports. “All of this was done quietly, with only the four lights on the unit I wasn’t looking at flashing on and then off.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: It takes a special* person to purchase and install Google listening devices throughout one’s home.
Google claims they “fixed” the issue by removing all top touch functionality on the devices.
Google claims a lot of things. Caveat emptor.
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Understanding Apple and privacy – June 8, 2015
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