Google Home and Alexa are now fighting against the perception of "surveillance" devices

Google acknowledged receipt of a previous report by the Belgian broadcaster VRT News that third party contractors could access the recordings Google Home device owners. According to the report, the audio clips reviewed included enough information to determine the personal addresses of many of the people involved. 19459003 19459002 Extracts used by experts in language and speech. Google says it sends clips to third-party language experts to make sure Google understands speech and local accents. The company explained this process in a post published today on its blog: "We have just learned that one of these language reviewers violated our data security policies by disclosing data. Dutch confidential audio. Our security and privacy teams have been activated on this issue, are investigating and we will take action. We are currently conducting a comprehensive review of our warranties in this space to prevent such reprehensible behavior from recurring.

Google goes on to explain how it protects the privacy of users and that only a small percentage of audio clips pass to the third party. parties for examination. However, with this incident, Google adds to the perception that smart speaker devices "listen" to their owners. This posed a problem for Alexa, who has been the subject of many negative reviews for her alleged attempt to spoof property owners.

The problem of the protection of privacy is of growing concern. A recent NPR survey indicates that some consumers are now reluctant to purchase smart speakers for privacy reasons.

Compared to a similar survey conducted in 2017, more and more consumers are concerned about privacy and security. The main reasons for not owning a smart speaker were: computer hacking, concerns that smart speakers "still listen" and worry about "government wiretaps" ". The latter issue (government oversight) is exacerbated by recent revelations that immigration authorities are undermining American unknowing facial recognition technology.

According to the NPR's investigation, current smart homeowners also expressed the same fears as non-homeowners with respect to privacy protection.

Around 2010, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke of new social standards for sharing information, in which people would be less concerned about privacy. He did not quite say that "privacy is dead", it is often the way his statements are characterized. But he seemed to suggest that the standards of confidentiality were now very different. Over the past year, Facebook has made a significant contribution to privacy, as consumers demand more control over their information and Facebook is increasingly criticized for data security and privacy.

Unfortunately, Google, Amazon and Facebook have not yet chosen. We have gone far enough to build trust and truly empower users to control their data, although they undeniably dispute this claim. Behind the scenes, some big tech companies have tried to weaken California's future CCPA rules.

Smart speakers and displays are an important part of the new consumer technology – and can potentially be an effective platform for marketers. But this nascent channel is increasingly under threat if Google, Amazon, Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Apple can do more to enhance confidentiality and consumer confidence.

About the Author

Greg Sterling is a collaborative editor at Search Engine Land. He researches and writes on the links between digital commerce and offline commerce. He is also Vice President of Strategy and Knowledge for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him on Google +.

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