Siri, Are You Listening To Me?

Ever since we started conversing with Siri and Alexa inside our smart speakers we’ve been worried about when she’s listening and what she hears. Maybe we’re overly paranoid?

No, says Matthew Crowley. Be afraid. You don’t know who is listening and you don’t know what they are doing with the information, or who they, Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, or others are selling it to. “Their language processing misinterprets certain words, and they can spontaneously listen in to private conversations you didn’t intend them to hear,” he tells KTRH News.Crowley is the co-founder of Cyprus Lake, a firm that provides security to critical infrastructure like airports, power plants, and corporations. “We’ve seen repeated violations by companies such as Facebook that are more than willing to sell and give away our personal data to those who aim to manipulate how we purchase items, our opinions and even who we vote for,” Crowley adds.

The problem isn’t so much the tidbit of conversation that is overheard and becomes part of your digital personal record – it’s the tidal wave of information about you that it contributes to, coming from every keystroke, every purchase, accessing your contacts, storing your photos, noting your calendar’s events and yes, words you may have randomly spoken one afternoon in passing.

Crowley says an absence of regulatory authority by any governmental agency is crippling Americans’ ability to protect their privacy in ways residents of other countries don’t face. States like California and New York, even Texas, are developing their own laws, but there hasn’t been a national response to the encroachment into data privacy that brings anyone comfort. He suggests it may require development of a new federal agency to oversee and protect people from enemies foreign and domestic.

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