While smart home devices like Amazon’s echo make life a little simpler, the disadvantage is that what you say in the privacy of your home may not be so private. In recent months, for example, we have seen reports of how Amazon and Apple employ thousands of subcontractors who listen to voice recordings as part of a broader effort to improve reliability.
In the case of Apple, a subcontractor responsible for verifying Siri’s reliability revealed that he and his colleagues “would regularly listen to confidential medical information, drug cases and records of couples who have sex.” Users would shoot Siri by accident.
In light of all this, Rick Osterloh, a Google executive, recently told the BBC that people with smart devices at home probably need their guests to tell them that their comments could be recorded.
“Damn, I had never thought about it before,” Osterloh said when the issue was discussed. “It is very important that all these technologies take into account all users, and we must also consider all those interested who may be close.”
“Does the homeowner need to reveal it to a guest?” Osterloh added. “I would and would do it when someone came home, and it is probably something that the products themselves should try to point out.”
In general, it is an interesting dynamic to play. While consumer privacy is, of course, paramount, it is no secret that all major technology companies, including Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook, have hired subcontractors to listen to a small audience. Number of questions to improve the underlying technology, especially in cases where consultations are conducted in different accents or languages.
That said, it should be noted that some of the companies mentioned, such as Apple and Facebook, are examples, since then they have suspended their review programs.