Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant Spy on Users

As it turned out, the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant applications record all conversations with the user and forward the recording to third parties, with an unclear prospect. It all started with the public television company VRT NWS from Belgium. It was told here that Google employees who decrypt voice requests collected by artificial intelligence can receive confidential user data as a result. For example, addresses, names, other details of personal life. Voice requests of users recorded by gadgets are forwarded without notification to employees of the corporation. Those, in turn, decode them in order to improve the functioning of artificial intelligence. In other words, people’s conversations with voice assistants are not as private as they think and want to. It is important that the start of a conversation is often random. As a rule, the assistant wakes up after hearing a certain callsign, for example, “Ok Google!” Although this can happen by mistake. According to statistics, the average employee listens to about a thousand voice requests received from Google Assistant every week. Many technical companies assure that sending voice recordings for decryption is important – this will help improve speech recognition technology. It is also emphasized that in such a way an incredibly small part of the records is transmitted. According to Google, only 0.2 percent of all records are listened to by people. Such records are supposedly never transmitted with information identifying the user. Michael Wil is a specialist in privacy research at the Alan Turing Institute in London. According to him, by revealing such data, companies can get legal trouble. He also believes that a low level of privacy is contrary to the established regulatory act. The documents indicate that you need to carefully monitor what you are doing and how. Similar problems were announced by Bloomberg regarding the voice assistant Alexa. Amazon recently announced that their voice assistant Alexa will be able to give British residents medical advice approved by the country’s national health system. Although human rights defenders are convinced that through this technology, information about the health of users can be sold or transferred to third parties. True, official comments from the manufacturer have not yet been received.

Sam Richards

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