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Consider this – Alexa is always listening and collecting data about you

The Daily Dot – Here’s what you need to know about the security and privacy implications of smart speakers, both the myths and the realities – 1) Smart speakers are always listening – One of the first things you’ll hear about smart speakers like echo is that they’re “always listening” to your conversations—which is technically correct. But we often mistake “always listening” with “always recording.” “The Echo is not recording everything you say in its presence,” says Lane Thames, a senior security researcher at Tripwire. “Recording does not start until you ‘wake’ it up by saying its wake word, such as ‘Alexa.’” Unless muted, your speaker does, however, keep a few seconds’ worth of sound recording. “This limited local voice recording is only for the purpose of the device detecting its wake word,” Thames says.

Once you trigger a smart speaker, it starts recording and sending your voice to its servers, where the real processing takes place. “The bulk of the processing (artificial intelligence and natural language processing) is done in cloud and the voice recordings are made only while the device is in activation mode,“ Thames says. Every device has an indicator to clearly show when it’s recording and sending data to the cloud. For Echo, it’s the light ring on top of the device. For Google Home, it’s the revolving colored lights. “These recordings are stored so that your Echo device, along with Alexa coupled with your Alexa account, can learn and become ‘smarter’ over time,” Thames says. “This is done via AI and continuous learning algorithms based on your stored voice controls and activities.”…

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