Home items are getting smarter and creepier, like it or not

Home items are getting smarter and creepier, like it or not

He said all the conveniences can be “a powerful drug to help people forget the fact that they are also being spied on.” Gadgets with voice controls typically aren’t transmitting any data back to company servers until you activate them with a trigger word, such as “Alexa” or “OK Google.” But devices have sometimes misheard innocuous words as legitimate commands to record and send private conversations .

“Alexa, play some music” isn’t the only time Amazon is listening to you.

“Alexa, play some music” isn’t the only time Amazon is listening to you.

Now that you know that your voice recordings are being sent via the internet to a centralized location, you may have assumed Amazon will need to store that data for some period of time — for example, to use its Natural Language Processing algorithms to interpret your request for a weather report (or to buy a pizza), gather that information, and then send it back to your device for it to speak the response.

Which Smart Speaker Should You Trust Most—and Least?

Which Smart Speaker Should You Trust Most—and Least?

Which illustrates a broader point: The privacy risks of smart speakers and virtual assistants might be more obvious than those of other computing devices and services that we’ve already largely accepted as a society, such as Gmail or iPhones.

Why Do You Need a VPN for VoIP

Why Do You Need a VPN for VoIP

VoIP VPN combines voice over Internet Protocol and virtual private network technologies to create a secure and encrypted tunnel over the internet to deliver VOIP traffic through.

Smart Devices Will Be Under Christmas Trees Across The Country

Smart Devices Will Be Under Christmas Trees Across The Country

To use these devices you will need a tablet or phone to do the set up through the Alexa and Facebook Messenger apps. Installing other smart devices can enable you to automate your home.

Amazon reveals private Alexa voice data files

Amazon reveals private Alexa voice data files

His request not only gave him access to his own Amazon search data, but also to around 1,700 Alexa voice files recorded in a stranger’s living room, bedroom, and shower. This data privacy disaster occurred because amazon.de saves Alexa voice recordings indefinitely and because the processes it uses to leverage them have serious security issues.

How to Keep Your Smart TV from Spying On You

How to Keep Your Smart TV from Spying On You

If you still want to use the internet on your TV, you’ll need to turn off the smart settings on your telly. Find the smart settings for your device and turn them off so it doesn’t listen to your conversations.

EFF Asks Court to Unseal Secret Docket in Case Involving Wiretap of Encrypted Facebook Messenger Calls

EFF Asks Court to Unseal Secret Docket in Case Involving Wiretap of Encrypted Facebook Messenger Calls

EFF joined an effort to unseal court records today in a groundbreaking case where the government reportedly tried to force Facebook to compromise the encryption in Facebook Messenger voice calls.

The next big tech battle will be over privacy

The next big tech battle will be over privacy

That’s of especial significance in the burgeoning smart home hub space, where privacy concerns abound with always-on, AI-powered speakers like Google Home and Amazon’s Echo devices, which send audio recordings back to corporate servers for processing.

Microsoft's Android launcher now tracks your digital health

Microsoft's Android launcher now tracks your digital health

As The Verge notes, the Microsoft Launcher runs on devices running Android 4.2 and later. This gives people with older devices a major digital health option without having to buy new hardware.

Amazon’s Accent Recognition Technology Could Tell the Government Where You’re From

Amazon’s Accent Recognition Technology Could Tell the Government Where You’re From

Characteristics, or “voice features,” like language accent, ethnic origin, emotion, gender, age, and background noise would be immediately extracted and tagged to the user’s data file to help deliver more targeted advertising.

Will you be getting a smart home spy for Christmas?

Will you be getting a smart home spy for Christmas?

You can still speak to the digital assistants embedded in these devices, but their screens enable hands-free video calling (apart from the Google one), can act as a control pad for various smart devices you may have around your home, such as thermostats or security cameras and (this feature is on heavy rotation in all the promotional material) you can use them to prompt you through a recipe without resorting to smearing your buttery fingers over your phone or laptop.

Comcast Hides Commands In Voice Remotes For Halloween

Comcast Hides Commands In Voice Remotes For Halloween

The engineers also added some hidden commands for the coming movie “The Grinch,” including “Xfinity Home, the Grinch” or “Xfinity Home, Grinch is Home,” either of which will turn the color of the light to green.

Amazon patents Alexa tech to tell if you’re sick, depressed and sell you meds

Amazon patents Alexa tech to tell if you’re sick, depressed and sell you meds

Amazon has patented technology that could let Alexa analyze your voice to determine whether you are sick or depressed and sell you products based on your physical or emotional condition.

Facebook unveils its new smart video calling hardware: Portal and Portal+

Facebook unveils its new smart video calling hardware: Portal and Portal+

Facebook's Andrew Bosworth spoke to the BBC, and admitted that there will be concerns from would-be users about the devices: "We understand that inviting a camera and microphone into your home is the kind of thing that will give a consumer pause, especially for a new category of products around video calling that haven't been really common for consumers to have access to".

Exclusive: In test case, U.S. fails to force Facebook to wiretap Messenger calls - sources

Exclusive: In test case, U.S. fails to force Facebook to wiretap Messenger calls - sources

Members of a joint federal and state task force probing the international criminal gang MS-13 had tried in August to hold Facebook in contempt of court for failing to carry out a wiretap order, Reuters reported last month.

US government loses bid to force Facebook to wiretap Messenger calls

US government loses bid to force Facebook to wiretap Messenger calls

A joint federal and state law enforcement effort investigating the MS-13 gang had pushed a district court to hold the social networking giant in contempt of court for refusing to permit real-time listening in on voice calls.

Amazon’s blockbuster Alexa event made zero mention of privacy concerns — and that may say more about us than about them

Amazon’s blockbuster Alexa event made zero mention of privacy concerns — and that may say more about us than about them

And maybe, just maybe, that’s because most consumers have given up on the idea of privacy in our times — or believe that the risk-reward balance of technologies like Alexa tilt in the direction of our new artificially intelligent overlords.

What does Google know about me?

Web and app activity, which includes things like your search history and activity in maps, are turned on by default on iPhone and Android devices because they are tied to your Google account.

How to improve your privacy on Windows 10

How to improve your privacy on Windows 10

Settings > Privacy > Location to control the following: If location is on, a list at the bottom of the Settings > Privacy > Location page allows you to disable access to that data on a per-app basis.

Exclusive: U.S. government seeks Facebook help to wiretap Messenger - sources

Exclusive: U.S. government seeks Facebook help to wiretap Messenger - sources

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The U.S. government is trying to force Facebook Inc (FB.O) to break the encryption in its popular Messenger app so law enforcement may listen to a suspect’s voice conversations in a criminal probe, three people briefed on the case said, resurrecting the issue of whether companies can be compelled to alter their products to enable surveillance.