'Alexa, are you invading my privacy?' – the dark side of our voice assistants

Phones, Internet, Computers and such.
User avatar
CEOCambodiaNews
Expatriate
Posts: 44391
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:13 am
Reputation: 2751
Location: CEO Newsroom in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Contact:
Cambodia

'Alexa, are you invading my privacy?' – the dark side of our voice assistants

Post by CEOCambodiaNews »

Scary Alexa.

'Alexa, are you invading my privacy?' – the dark side of our voice assistants
There are more than 100m Alexa-enabled devices in our homes. But are they fun time-savers or the beginning of an Orwellian nightmare
Dorian Lynskey
Wed 9 Oct 2019 06.00 BST

One day in 2017, Alexa went rogue. When Martin Josephson, who lives in London, came home from work, he heard his Amazon Echo Dot voice assistant spitting out fragmentary commands, seemingly based on his previous interactions with the device. It appeared to be regurgitating requests to book train tickets for journeys he had already taken and to record TV shows that he had already watched. Josephson had not said the wake word – “Alexa” – to activate it and nothing he said would stop it. It was, he says, “Kafkaesque”.

This was especially interesting because Josephson (not his real name) was a former Amazon employee. Three years earlier, he had volunteered to sit in a room reciting a string of apparently meaningless phrases into a microphone for an undisclosed purpose. Only when Amazon released the Echo in the US in 2014 did he realise what he had been working on. He bought a Dot, the Echo’s cheaper, smaller model, after it launched in 2016, and found it useful enough until the day it went haywire. When the Dot’s outburst subsided, he unplugged it and deposited it in the bin. “I felt a bit foolish,” he says. “Having worked at Amazon, and having seen how they used people’s data, I knew I couldn’t trust them.”

The Dot wasn’t supposed to behave like a dadaist drill sergeant. Then again, voice assistants often do things that they are not supposed to do. Last year, an Amazon customer in Germany was mistakenly sent about 1,700 audio files from someone else’s Echo, providing enough information to name and locate the unfortunate user and his girlfriend. (Amazon attributed this “unfortunate mishap” to human error.)

In San Francisco, Shawn Kinnear claimed that his Echo activated itself and said cheerfully: “Every time I close my eyes, all I see is people dying.” In Portland, Oregon, a woman discovered that her Echo had taken it upon itself to send recordings of private conversations to one of her husband’s employees. In a statement, Amazon said that the Echo must have misheard the wake word, misheard a request to send a message, misheard a name in its contacts list and then misheard a confirmation to send the message, all during a conversation about hardwood floors. Not great, Alexa.

Technology frequently inspires ambivalence: we know that Facebook and Google know too much about us, yet we continue to use their services because they’re so damn convenient. Voice assistants, however, are unusually polarising. People who consider them sinister and invasive (myself included) regard enthusiasts as complacent, while those who find them useful and benign see the sceptics as paranoid technophobes. There is one question freighted with bigger issues about our relationship with the tech industry: should you let Alexa into your home?
Full article: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/ ... assistants
Cambodia Expats Online: Bringing you breaking news from Cambodia before you read it anywhere else!

Have a story or an anonymous news tip for CEO? Need advertising? CONTACT US

Cambodia Expats Online is the most popular community in the country. JOIN TODAY

Follow CEO on social media:

Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Google+
Instagram
Mishmash
Expatriate
Posts: 1949
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:34 pm
Reputation: 1146
Cambodia

Re: 'Alexa, are you invading my privacy?' – the dark side of our voice assistants

Post by Mishmash »

Reminds me of 1977 Demon Seed - Incredibly Prophetic

User avatar
Duncan
Sir Duncan
Posts: 8150
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:22 pm
Reputation: 2346
Location: Wonder Why Central

Re: 'Alexa, are you invading my privacy?' – the dark side of our voice assistants

Post by Duncan »

Anyone here married to a Cambodian girl called Alexa. ?
Cambodia,,,, Don't fall in love with her.
Like the spoilt child she is, she will not be happy till she destroys herself from within and breaks your heart.
User avatar
SternAAlbifrons
Expatriate
Posts: 4786
Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:31 am
Reputation: 2817
Location: Gilligan's Island
Pitcairn Island

Re: 'Alexa, are you invading my privacy?' – the dark side of our voice assistants

Post by SternAAlbifrons »

Alexa - can me hear me

You - are - the - Devil - incarnate.
Got that? remember it please.

...and everybody else too
violet
Expatriate
Posts: 1101
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 3:48 pm
Reputation: 380

Re: 'Alexa, are you invading my privacy?' – the dark side of our voice assistants

Post by violet »

SternAAlbifrons wrote: Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:30 am Alexa - can me hear me

You - are - the - Devil - incarnate.
Got that? remember it please.

...and everybody else too
are you telling everybody else to remember that Alexa ("You") is "the - Devil - incarnate."?
or are you saying that everybody else, as well as Alexa ("You") is the devil incarnate?
User avatar
SternAAlbifrons
Expatriate
Posts: 4786
Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:31 am
Reputation: 2817
Location: Gilligan's Island
Pitcairn Island

Re: 'Alexa, are you invading my privacy?' – the dark side of our voice assistants

Post by SternAAlbifrons »

^^^ Sorry V, 'was telling smart Alexa she has horns : :evil:
and that she should never forget it and come to think she was an angel instead. :twisted:

And warning everybody else not to forget that either.
(imo only of course)
User avatar
SternAAlbifrons
Expatriate
Posts: 4786
Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:31 am
Reputation: 2817
Location: Gilligan's Island
Pitcairn Island

Re: 'Alexa, are you invading my privacy?' – the dark side of our voice assistants

Post by SternAAlbifrons »

China brings in mandatory facial recognition for mobile phone users

All mobile phone users in China registering new SIM cards must submit to facial recognition scans, according to a new rule that went into effect across the country on Sunday.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/ ... hone-users
Post Reply Previous topicNext topic
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 107 guests