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Well, it was a present, so I didn't actually get much choice in it.
But I do like it, I use it for music. I tell it to play a specific song, playlist, or even just shuffle songs by artist/genre and it does, very hassle free. And the sound quality is actually pretty good.
I have an Alexa, and I honestly don't care if it did record everything I said. It's not like I walk around my house reading out my bank card numbers all day.
And even if I did say something sensitive, it's not like it's publicly accessible, so what is there to worry about?
Have you never given out card details on the 'phone?
I can think of all kinds of reasons not to have a microphone in my home - private conversations, intimate moments, breaking wind and all manner of things that I don't want to share with the world at large.
A lot of things are intended not to be publicly accessible but they still wind up being so.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. - Mark Twain
Have you never given out card details on the 'phone?
Now you mention it, few weeks back I did, was right next to my Alexa too...
Thing is, I don't for a minute think Amazon have that audio stored anywhere on their servers. And even if they did record every bit of audio from every customer (very unlikely), what are the odds of someone with criminal intent would have access? and even then happening to pick out those 10 seconds of audio out of the whole data set for every consumer? It's just not going to happen. And if it somehow did (it won't), it's highly unlikely my bank will allow the purchase using my card details to happen.
It's more likely that my phone would be tapped and someone would get my card details that way... so what should I do, stop using my phone?
private conversations, intimate moments, breaking wind and all manner of things that I don't want to share with the world at large.
Why do you care if people you have never met, and likely never will, hear a private conversation?
most of these things can be turned into spy devices pretty easily
You have a phone?
Ever use internet without vpn?
If yes, then what's the point of putting an effort to protect against one more thing? Let 'em have it all. Overflow their servers with data and they just might crash! In this day and age we are all compromised by ease of access devices which are/can be effectively used to spy on you and there's very little you can do about it. A quote from Manhhunt: Unabomber is trying to get out of my lips here, but failing miserably.
If you don't compromise security for a phone or accessible internet access then kudos to you! But I neither have the resources nor the choice to act like a nomad or a monk and I think it's safe to say neither do most people.
You got one?
Nope, I don't see the reason to buy one. A guy in the office bought one used it for a week before he got bored and dumped it where no man shall ever go.
Because with phone / VPN it's my choice what happens: I can "limit the damage" or not as I chose without significantly compromising functionality.
But with these things, pretty much everything you say or do becomes public knowledge - even without the consent of your family and visitors.
Technically, in the UK at least, not warning a visitor that Alexa / Google is listening and recording can probably be a criminal offense: Is it illegal to record conversations? - DMA[^] and also almost certainly infringes the Human Rights (privacy) legislation of the EU...
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Because with phone / VPN it's my choice what happens
Or maybe that's what they want you to think?
On a side note given the information provided in the link is correct, it's scary how the big company has failed to adhere to law or simply just ignored it. I remember a post a few days ago, someone saying we (Software Developers) should start taking strict actions/precautions as doctors do with their oaths. Perhaps we could start penalizing the developers for their complete disregard for security atleast. I doubt individual developer can be held accountable for ever changing law and its clauses.
In other words we need an(other) interface between QA and Dev and Legal. The current manager, project lead, team lead, developer relationship has too many pitfalls.
You even come across people using mobiles in public places and spelling out their card number and 3-digit security number. People in general have a very poor perception of risk in today's world.
As an aside... round here we have a permit parking scheme. In the "good old days" permits were physical paper certificates displayed on the windscreen. The parking enforcement people walked around and if there was a car without a permit they ticketed them. Only data on illegally parked cars was collected, and then only on paper for transcription back at the office. Now the wardens go around with a mobile app, typing in the registration of EVERY car, which is then checked against a remote database (together with time and GPS data). Now details of every car in the area - legally parked or not - together with location and time is reported back to parking HQ. Think of the mischief that data could be used for... yet no-one, as far as I can tell, has so much as blinked at the change from paper permits to paperless. Similarly here in the UK, the government driven stampede to "smart" electricity and gas meters is going to be reporting back in real time (well, up to half-hourly) energy use about virtually every property in the land. Again, dead easy for a bad actor to identify abnormal energy usage and spot when normally-occupied homes are left empty. Yet another reason not to follow the herd into "smart" meters.
There's talk of a "digital divide" - those with access to high-tech, and those without. I'd suggest there's also a "privacy divide" - between those who spray every detail of their lives into the ether, neither knowing nor caring where it goes or is used for, and those who take a degree of control over their data and apply intelligence to manage exposure. (Though in the above example, you may not even realise your legally-parked car is going to be monitored on an hourly basis by the council's subcontractors... and the only option is not to park in a permit parking zone. )
I try to avoid voice control for several reasons, one I talk to myself (I know, I know), two I am paranoid about Big Brother listening (not really an issue) & when I do use it I have an overwhelming desire to say "Open the pod bay doors, Hal" and get disappointed by the reply (I really have to hack it to answer "I'm sorry, but I can't Dave")
I have Google assistant on my Xiaomi Mi tv box, and for that application, it is great. It switches the mic on immediately I enter a search field anywhere (haven't had time to try "Ok, Google" yet), and the search and voice recognition is great.
The box is only on once or twice a week, and Google Assist sure beats entering search terms using on-screen keypads.
"'Do what thou wilt...' is to bid Stars to shine, Vines to bear grapes, Water to seek its level; man is the only being in Nature that has striven to set himself at odds with himself."
The privacy part doesn't bother me... that was lost a long time ago when I started using the internet. I just don't find voice based interfaces the least bit appealing.
The Beer Prayer - Our lager, which art in barrels, hallowed be thy drink. Thy will be drunk, I will be drunk, at home as it is in the tavern. Give us this day our foamy head, and forgive us our spillage as we forgive those who spill against us. And lead us not to incarceration, but deliver us from hangovers. For thine is the beer, the bitter and the lager, for ever and ever. Barmen.
I refuse to have anything like that. Granted, I'm not just "probably", but guaranteed, to be ignorant of how many devices are actually listening without my knowledge. Two laptops in the office upstairs, a laptop downstairs, and my phone are the known suspects.
I am considering getting one as the convenience of just asking the TV to go to a channel etc is quite appealing but I'd have to change the recognition phrase, "Oy dipshit" sound about right and the wife would then refuse to use it.
And yes I do anthropomorphize (I hate US spell checkers) my computers.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity -
I'm old. I know stuff - JSOP
SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!
My neighbor has an amazon talk box. Im gonna start double sound proofing my house in case it can here me through the walls. I know they can hear us from our house, cause they complained about the loud noises a couple weeks ago. We simply swapped our bed room to the other side of the house.