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Even Siri is spying on you! How do you protect yourself?

14.09.2021 08:15 AM
Even Siri is spying on you! How do you protect yourself?
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Even Siri is spying on you! How do you protect yourself?
It seems that espionage issues related to modern technologies have become the daily talk of the street. After reports of WhatsApp breaching privacy and accessing private messages, the issues are flooding Amazon, Google and Apple as well.
A US federal judge has given the green light to a class-action lawsuit alleging that Apple's Siri voice assistant is violating users' privacy.

Earlier this month, US District Judge Jeffrey White said plaintiffs would be allowed to move forward with lawsuits trying to prove that Siri routinely records their private conversations and that Apple provided the conversations to advertisers, according to Reuters.

The plaintiffs allege that Apple violated federal wiretapping and California privacy law, among other allegations they made.

Amazon and Google too

In parallel, separate lawsuits have also been filed against Google and Amazon similar to those against Siri regarding voice assistants.

One of the most common allegations in these lawsuits is that the conversations were recorded without the user's consent and then used by advertisers to target the plaintiffs.

How do we protect ourselves?

Amazon, Apple and Google all offer smart audio speakers that use various forms of voice assistant technology that are activated when users say keywords such as "Hey Siri" for Apple devices, "OK Google" for Google products, or "Alexa" for Amazon smartphones.

Amazon devices store this data when they are activated with a keyword, or what's called an alert word.

In contrast, an Amazon spokesperson explained to FOX Business that "no audio is stored or sent to the cloud unless the device detects the word alert (or Alexa is activated by pressing a button)".

He added that "customers have several options for managing their recordings, including the option not to save their recordings at all and the ability to automatically delete recordings on a continuous basis for a period of three or 18 months."

Also, he said that if you don't want to be recorded by Alexa, all you have to do is go to the "Privacy" menu, then "Manage your Alexa data" in order to "Choose how long recordings are saved", and then select the "Don't save" option recordings".

Collect recordings for better services

It is noteworthy that Amazon collects the audio recordings and uses them to provide and improve services, according to the company.

This might include helping to train Alexa to better understand different dialects and provide the right response to requests. Amazon also said it reviews the data "manually" but does not sell it.

For its part, Apple made it clear in a 2019 statement that it no longer keeps Siri recordings without user permission, noting that Siri will only keep your data if you choose to subscribe via Settings on Apple devices.
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