Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Computers are LISTENING

A growing throng of Americans revel in being able to call out "What's the weather?" to their Amazon Echo or "Is 'The Shawshank Redemption' on?" to their Samsung SmartTV and get the immediate answers.
But these first forays into a world where digital servants always listen for our commands raise red flags for privacy and security experts, who see too many ways it could all go horribly wrong.
Amazon Echo(Photo: Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY)
“In our homes, there are all sorts of conversations that are going on and are meant to be personal and private,” said Lynn Terwoerds, executive director of the Executive Women’s Forum on Information Security and Risk Management.
On Wednesday, she and others launched the Voice Privacy Industry Group at the RSA computer security conference. Their goal is to set a voice privacy agenda for developers "early on, when they’re starting to think about it, not later when they have to patch something that’s fundamentally broken," she said.
Siri can now name songs, via Shazam. (Photo: Apple)
Most voice-command devices listen for a "wake word" that tells them to start paying attention, such as "Alexa!" or "Hey, Siri." Simple commands can be processed on the device while more complex requests are uploaded via wireless to the cloud where they're translated into text the program can understand and act upon.
Questions that concern the group: How much the device records, whether the audio stream is encrypted as it zips through the cloud, how long it's stored and who has access to the information.
The worry is that this trickle of helpful adjuncts could become a flood of invasive devices bent on listening and learning from everything we say around them.
Read the rest of the story HERE, follow a link to a related story and view a related video below:

How voice-activated devices listen to you (and how to turn them off)

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