Conflict Marbella consultancy Spain

Are smart devices smarter than you think?

The ability to speak to a connected device is becoming commonplace. You can command a device into action straight away by saying a recognised word. But if it’s listening for you to say that word, what else is it hearing?

The issue of privacy around devices such as Amazon Echo or Echo Dot has been raised after police in Arkansas asked Amazon to provide data from a device as part of their enquiries into a murder investigation. So is anything being recorded and is it secure?

Tech experts say the devices are always listening unless their settings are changed and they stream audio to a cloud service at certain times. On Amazon devices this is displayed by a ring of light turning blue. This audio should be private to you but the attempt to gain information from Amazon raises questions about their privacy.

In a statement to Forbes magazine, Amazon said: “We will not release customer information without a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us. Amazon objects to overbroad or otherwise inappropriate demands as a matter of course.”

The company has an FAQ page with more information on how their devices work and instructions on how to turn off the microphone. But it’s worth bearing in mind that you may not be having the private conversation you think you are having with a connected device in the room.

Conflict International are experts in securing your privacy with experienced teams able to carry out bug detection sweeps as well as professional counter surveillance if your privacy is being threatened.

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