Google Chrome Includes Code to Listen All the Time

TheBuffather

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Jul 19, 2009
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Recently, Rick over at Private Internet Access discovered that, without consent, Chrome now includes a black box of code that – according to itself – had turned on the microphone and is actively listening to your room.

From the article:
Yesterday, news broke that Google has been stealth downloading audio listeners onto every computer that runs Chrome, and transmits audio data back to Google. Effectively, this means that Google had taken itself the right to listen to every conversation in every room that runs Chrome somewhere, without any kind of consent from the people eavesdropped on. In official statements, Google shrugged off the practice with what amounts to “we can do that”.
Article Link (Includes a response from Google)
 
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Partron22

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Apr 13, 2011
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"OK Google" seems to me like a phrase that might be recognized by a modern day supercomputer without resorting to remote services.
Way back in the 70's we had a device that could turn on or off a light with a simple clap of the hands.
It was called "The Clapper" If Google's programmers cannot do better they should implement this 'Clapper' in local hardware, and use that instead of sending our private conversations, unencrypted?, through the intarwebs. Sounds like a real bandwidth hog anyway.
 
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Dirtyharry50

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May 17, 2012
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Nothing in the way of data mining from Google would surprise me in the least. My first guess would be they want speech data and lots of it for speech recognition tech development but that is purely a guess. They could have other uses for the audio data. I highly doubt the content of any conversations is what they are after or care about. Few of us have anything to say worth listening to is the actual fact of the matter. In fact, I guess maybe I don't either. You might want to completely disregard what i just posted here. My thoughts and talk certainly are at least as unimportant and largely irrelevant as anyone else's

That said, I avoid Google like the plague and I use Ghostery to turn off their (and everybody else's) trackers, analytics, etc. on every site I visit. Ghostery is free. DuckDuckGo for it.
 
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TheBuffather

macrumors 6502
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Jul 19, 2009
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Orlando, FL
Nothing in the way of data mining from Google would surprise me in the least. My first guess would be they want speech data and lots of it for speech recognition tech development but that is purely a guess. They could have other uses for the audio data. I highly doubt the content of any conversations is what they are after or care about. Few of us have anything to say worth listening to is the actual fact of the matter. In fact, I guess maybe I don't either. You might want to completely disregard what i just posted here. My thoughts and talk certainly are at least as unimportant and largely irrelevant as anyone else's

That said, I avoid Google like the plague and I use Ghostery to turn off their (and everybody else's) trackers, analytics, etc. on every site I visit. Ghostery is free. DuckDuckGo for it.
Thanks for the tip. Currently I use Disconnect.me, Adblock Plus, and in the rare cases that I do use Firefox, I made these recommended changes.