Smart Home Devices – How much information is being shared with the Government? – Daily Access News
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Smart Home Devices – How much information is being shared with the Government?

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In today’s ever growing, evolving world of technology, there are more and more options for consumers to enhance their home with the newest and coolest tech. Everything from personal assistants, home security systems, smart TV’s, hub devices and more, can create a seamless world of convenience for home owners. Take for example the assistant devices on the market such as google home devices and Amazon’s Alexa. It is a killer feature to be able to say “Hey google, turn on the lights”. Or “Hey Alexa, open the garage door and start my car”. Cool right? Well, some aren’t convinced the convenience is worth the perceived invasion of privacy that someone is always listening. While major tech companies such as Google and Amazon do contain and share their privacy policies, not all are comforted. The mere thought that spying by the government, hackers or others could be taking place, is plenty for a family with kids to be freaked out enough to skip the convenience factor all together.

Now, these advanced home assistant devices aren’t sitting there recording every word you say, but do begin recording data once the key phrases (e.g. “Hey Alexa”) are triggered. That data is not only stored as an audio files, but the transcripted text also lives in 3rd party server domains. If it stopped there it might be a bit more digestible to most, but it doesn’t. If you look deep into the privacy policies of the major tech players, you will see there is a time and a place where data is and can be shared with 3rd parties. You will also see language that essentially summarizes the existing policies to comply with law enforcement and government when it comes to requested data. Now, this is done via lawful warrants, but it doesn’t take wiretaps and bug recording devices to retrieve loads of data on those being investigated anymore. These devices hear more than people realize and can really be used against someone who is up to any nefarious, illegal deeds that law enforcement is on to.

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