Hey, Alexa, stop listening to everything I say

By | November 27, 2018

Google Home and Amazon Alexa devicesSmart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home that can give you the weather forecast, play your favorite tunes, or control the lights in your house are a hot ticket item for the holidays. But not for everyone.

Recent research from the U-M School of Information looked at privacy perceptions, concerns, and privacy-seeking behaviors with smart speakers. Florian Schaub, assistant professor of information and senior author of the study, said some of those who haven’t adopted smart speakers don’t believe they’ll have much use for them, but about half of those interviewed were worried about privacy.

Perhaps of more concern, he said, were the sentiments and behaviors of those who have adopted them but were unconcerned about protecting themselves and were not using the privacy features. “We found that people were resigned to giving up their privacy, and they rationalize this choice by saying it’s just a little more data that Google is getting or Amazon is getting about me,” Schaub said.