Former Amazon executive says he switches off Alexa for "private moments"

Former Amazon executive says he switches off Alexa for "private moments"

In April last year, it was reported that Amazon employs thousands of contractors and full-time workers around the world to listen to voice recordings captured by Echo devices.

Wearable Microphone Jamming

Wearable Microphone Jamming

Furthermore, by arranging the transducers in a ring layout, our wearable jams in multiple directions and protects the privacy of its user’s voice, anywhere and anytime, without requiring its user to manually point the jammer to the eavesdropping microphones.

How Surveillance Capitalism Targets the Vulnerable

How Surveillance Capitalism Targets the Vulnerable

While the elderly might have showed up late to the internet and smartphones, there’s no reason to be believe they will be immune to the consequences that young people in particular are now beginning to understand.

Let’s Reverse Engineer Discord

Let’s Reverse Engineer Discord

After encrypting the entire stream and sending with an RTP header, we can see this packet received and decrypted by our remote Discord client which is in a debugger.

Microsoft Outsourced Skype, Cortana Voice Analysis to China With Virtually No Security in Place: Report

Microsoft Outsourced Skype, Cortana Voice Analysis to China With Virtually No Security in Place: Report

A man walks past Google offices in Beijing in 2014.Photo: Greg Baker/AFP (AP)Microsoft had “no security measures” on a program that had humans transcribe user voice recordings from its Skype video calling service and Cortana assistant, the Guardian reported on Friday, even when those workers were located in China.

Facial and voice recognition in cars sounds like a privacy nightmare

Facial and voice recognition in cars sounds like a privacy nightmare

As all this monitoring happens, it's easy to forget how much data cars are starting to collect — including personal health details like your heart and respiration rate.

Skype audio graded by workers in China with 'no security measures'

Skype audio graded by workers in China with 'no security measures'

A Microsoft programme to transcribe and vet audio from Skype and Cortana, its voice assistant, ran for years with “no security measures”, according to a former contractor who says he reviewed thousands of potentially sensitive recordings on his personal laptop from his home in Beijing over the two years he worked for the company.

Why Amazon, Google and Apple want to record our assistant interactions

Why Amazon, Google and Apple want to record our assistant interactions

Every person who brings a new Echo speaker from Amazon into their home gets automatically recorded every time they utter the "Alexa" wake word."Users can opt in to help Siri improve by learning from audio samples of their requests," Apple says.

Google really is listening and recording on apps

Google really is listening and recording on apps

When you set up your Google account, it asks you to "opt in" to let Google track your video and audio recordings.Google, we discovered, can record, store and archive your queries when using the apps or even https://t.co/lhIuCc5DLl and voice search.

Should colleges really be putting smart speakers in dorms?

Should colleges really be putting smart speakers in dorms?

However, there are plenty of people on campus who see a dark side.“When it comes to deploying listening devices where sensitive conversations occur, we simply have no idea what long-term effect having conversations recorded and kept by Amazon might have on their futures—even, quite possibly, on their health and well-being,” says Russell Newman, an Emerson professor who researches the political economy of communication and communications policy.

'Mind your own business, Alexa!' How to keep secrets from your voice assistant

'Mind your own business, Alexa!' How to keep secrets from your voice assistant

Call centre workers who check how helpful our voice assistants are say they hear private conversations and couples having sex.Call-centre workers for companies such as Apple, Amazon and Google are hired to check recordings made by voice assistants including Alexa and Siri for accuracy and helpfulness.

Hackers Can Silently Control Your Google Home, Alexa, Siri With Laser Light

Hackers Can Silently Control Your Google Home, Alexa, Siri With Laser Light

According to experiments done by a team of researchers from Japanese and Michigan Universities, a remote attacker standing at a distance of several meters away from a device can covertly trigger the attack by simply modulating the amplitude of laser light to produce an acoustic pressure wave.

Google and Amazon approved home speaker apps that spied on users

Google and Amazon approved home speaker apps that spied on users

"To prevent 'Smart Spies' attacks, Amazon and Google need to implement better protection, starting with a more thorough review process of third-party Skills and Actions made available in their voice app stores," the SLR researchers concluded.

Google’s auto-delete tools are practically worthless for privacy

Google’s auto-delete tools are practically worthless for privacy

Still, it’s unusual for advertisers to target users based on their activity from months earlier, Dweck says.Still, he acknowledges that a daily auto-delete window would significantly affect advertisers’ ability to target Google users based on a profile of their search activity.

Amazon's Favorite New Word Is 'Privacy,' But Does It Even Know the Meaning?

Amazon's Favorite New Word Is 'Privacy,' But Does It Even Know the Meaning?

New commands coming to Alexa, Amazon’s personal voice assistant, will enable users to delete recordings of their commands—a big deal given the eavesdropping debacle in which Amazon was embroiled this year.

Google seeks permission for staff to listen to Assistant recordings

Google seeks permission for staff to listen to Assistant recordings

The issue of technology-company workers listening and transcribing audio recordings made via smart speakers and virtual assistant apps came to the fore in April, when the Bloomberg news agency reported Amazon, Google and Apple were all involved in the practice.

Microsoft Contractors Listened to Xbox Owners in Their Homes

Microsoft Contractors Listened to Xbox Owners in Their Homes

Contractors working for Microsoft have listened to audio of Xbox users speaking in their homes in order to improve the console’s voice command features, Motherboard has learned.(Microsoft did not explicitly say humans may review audio recordings from its products in its privacy policy until after Motherboard's earlier reporting on Skype and Cortana).

Siri, Privacy, and Trust

Siri, Privacy, and Trust

Three weeks ago, writing for The Guardian, Alex Hern reported: Apple contractors regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex, as part of their job providing quality control, or “grading”, the company’s Siri voice assistant, the Guardian has learned.

Microsoft Quietly Says it Keeps and Transcribes Your Conversations —Sometimes Even if You Chose Not to Let Them

Microsoft Quietly Says it Keeps and Transcribes Your Conversations —Sometimes Even if You Chose Not to Let Them

Following in the footsteps of other large corporations such as Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon; Microsoft silently updated its privacy statement admitting it has a group of people listening to users' conversations and interactions through its platform —and transcribing part of those dialogs:Our processing of personal data for these purposes includes both automated and manual (human) methods of processing .

Facebook Records User Audio, Sparking Privacy Questions

Facebook Records User Audio, Sparking Privacy Questions

Hundreds of contractors reportedly were hired to transcribe Messenger voice chats in order to test the accuracy of an AI algorithm — raising questions about what Facebook does with the data.

How to disable OK Google and Google Assistant on Android devices

How to disable OK Google and Google Assistant on Android devices

If OK Google or Google Assistant are active on your Android device but you are not using these tools, you may want to consider disabling those.Here is how you disable OK Google on your device:Open the Google application on the Android device.

Amazon's Alexa comes under scrutiny of Luxembourg privacy watchdog

Amazon's Alexa comes under scrutiny of Luxembourg privacy watchdog

The increasing popularity of Alexa, Apple's Siri and Google Assistant has triggered concerns from politicians and privacy enforcers over how some companies handle recordings from users interacting with their voice assistants.

A new lawsuit accuses Apple of violating user's privacy by allowing Siri to record without consent

A new lawsuit accuses Apple of violating user's privacy by allowing Siri to record without consent

A recently filed class-action lawsuit accuses Apple of violating user privacy by recording consumers and minors with its Siri digital assistant without consent.Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit claiming that the company's Siri voice assistant is violating customer privacy by recording users without their consent.

CLE - Google, Amazon, and Apple Digital Voice Assistants

CLE - Google, Amazon, and Apple Digital Voice Assistants

The information goes back to the company to help improve its digital voice assistant.The issue is in the private, accidental recordings received by Apple through digital voice assistants, which can be highly personal and sensitive, containing sufficient location and contact details to identify a user.

Amazon lets Alexa users disable human voice recording review

Amazon lets Alexa users disable human voice recording review

Following the leak of Google Assistant user voice recordings last month, Google said human reviewers listen to voice recordings to improve the assistant’s ability to recognize accents, languages, and dialects.

Germany orders Google to stop listening in on audio recordings

Germany orders Google to stop listening in on audio recordings

"Other providers of speech assistance systems, such as Apple or Amazon, are invited to also swiftly review the implementation of appropriate measures," Caspar's office said.

'Opt Out' Is Useless. Let People Opt In

'Opt Out' Is Useless. Let People Opt In

Right now it’s unclear what form Apple’s Siri opt-out will take; the company has suspended its voice data collection temporarily and says only that once it resumes, “users will have the ability to choose to participate.” Apple didn’t respond to a request for more specific information.

Apple and Google halt human voice-data reviews over privacy backlash, but transparency is the real issue

Apple and Google halt human voice-data reviews over privacy backlash, but transparency is the real issue

Both Google and Apple are suspending some of their voice data-review practices, after separate reports in the past month revealed the extent to which the companies allow humans to listen to private conversations.

Amazon Alexa Accused Again Of Spying: Here Is Another Solution

Amazon Alexa Accused Again Of Spying: Here Is Another Solution

Read: Alexa Is Listening All The Time: Here's How To Stop It. Last week, various articles reported that Amazon responded to a letter sent by Senator Christopher Coons in late May, confirming that it maintains Alexa recordings indefinitely (unless a user manually comes in and deletes them).

Siri records fights, doctor’s appointments, and sex (and contractors hear it)

Siri records fights, doctor’s appointments, and sex (and contractors hear it)

One of the contract workers told The Guardian that Siri did sometimes record audio after mistaken activations. Apple, along with Google and Amazon, all have similar policies for the contract workers it hires to review those audio snippets.