HomePod HP Preferable b/c Alexa is listening........

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by CPTmom2wp, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. CPTmom2wp macrumors 6502

    CPTmom2wp

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    #1
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/shortcuts/2018/apr/11/shhh-alexa-might-be-listening

    Anyone else find this possibility to be absolutely terrifying.......?

    Especially in light of the Facebook controversy about collecting and selling personal info....?

    Particularly with the knowledge that Amazon wants to capture most US household income through a monopoly of the marketplace?

    I can see it now.....all the little Dash buttons listening around the house along with Alexa while Bezos is selling our information to restaurants, car dealerships, medical providers, funeral homes etc. etc. etc. in addition to a domination of the product market.
     
  2. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

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  3. Lowhangers macrumors member

    Lowhangers

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    #3
    Oh really? Perhaps you should read this:

    https://www.imore.com/homepod

    "I don't want an open Amazon or Google microphone in my house. Call me whatever names you feel you must, but the idea of companies that monetize my data and behavior being given my conversations and activities for free, and in so doing creating a second or multiple additional points for data breach or abuse, has always felt like a bad deal to me. (I can't use Google Assistant in general because, every time I decline to give it access to my web and app data, it declines to turn on — which feels coercive, given how much it could still do absent that data.)

    Apple, by virtue of its business model, has no interest in storing my personal data any longer than it absolutely has to, and no interest in monetizing my behavior.

    So not only does it keep Siri offline until it hits the trigger phrase, once it goes online it generates an anonymous token ID and transmits all data with end-to-end encryption. That way, never have to worry about entire meeting transcripts being stored in logs, employees violating my privacy and snooping on me, or my past data being exposed over due to some future bug, partnership, or request.


    That's not to say I don't want Apple using my data to provide me with better direct services. I just want my data to be used for my benefit, not for the company's bottom line. Not unless I start getting a share of the money they make off of it. (Which is way more valuable than any 'free" app or service offered as compensation to date.)

    If — big if — Apple can scale reliability and functionality up to and until they hit a secure, private, yet deeply contextual, borderline prescient SiriOS, the company could ride the Ai wave the way its ridden the mobile wave to date.

    You can also turn off "Hey, Siri" for HomePod in the Home app, or say "Hey, Siri, stop listening". At that point, the microphone is dead until you either turn it back on in the Home app, or tap the top of HomePod and say "Hey, Siri, start listening". It's great for those moments, short or extended, when you want to make absolutely sure Siri isn't listening.

    You can also toggle personal requests on or off at any time, even if you're just in the other room and don't want to leave guests or kids with an open, messaging-capable, microphone. Just to Home > Add Home (the arrow icon at the top left) > tap on your profile pic, and toggle Personal Requests on or off at any time.

    And you can control speaker access for AirPlay from the same place in the Home app, so you can allow everyone, only those on the same network as HomePod (i.e. you've given access to your Wi-Fi), or only people you've shared your Home with via HomeKit.

    You can even require a password if you want to, for example, prevent a well-bearded man from drive-by Ozzy streaming attacks."

    And also read this:

    https://www.digitalcare.org/homepod-privacy/

    After witnessing the Alexa privacy debate, not to mention concerns about covering your webcamand smart TV spying, Apple is using the issue of privacy as a way to differentiate itself from its competitors. Apple claims that it doesn’t want your personal data, and has designed HomePod with privacy in mind.

    Unlike Amazon Echo’s Alexa, or Google Home, Siri doesn’t listen to everything you say around the HomePod. Users have to “wake” Siri with the command “Hey Siri” before HomePod will start transmitting data to Apple servers. Once you make a query with HomePod, the information is encrypted before being sent to the Apple server using an anonymous Siri identifier that isn’t tied to your Apple ID or email address. After six months, your voice data from HomePod are disassociated from your Siri ID. Apple plans to keep all voice files for an additional eighteen months for product improvement purposes. Conversely, data on Amazon’s servers is not anonymous and Google Home stores data until the user deletes it.

    Google Home also uses your data from all of your activities across Google properties (Gmail, Google searches, etc.) with the intention of better serving you, Apple deliberately chooses not to aggregate your data and use it for – or against – you. This means that HomePod may be less helpful as an assistant than Google or Alexa, but ultimately more useful in protecting your privacy.

    Will Apple’s HomePod set a privacy precedent that other companies will follow? Only time will tell.

    --- Post Merged, Apr 13, 2018 ---
    That kind of thing is why I got rid of my Echos and replaced them with HomePods. I don't trust Amazon or Google at all. Amazon is going in a very scary direction, and I don't believe their denials about it. You don't file for a patent like that without the intent to use it at some point.
     
  4. Julien macrumors G4

    Julien

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    #4
    FB doesn't sell personal information.
     
  5. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

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    #5
    Do not need to read, I am well aware they are all listening. Not paranoid, I have nothing to hide. Just saying none of the tech companies are innocent.
     
  6. YaBe, Apr 13, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018

    YaBe macrumors 6502a

    YaBe

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    #6
    To hear you saying "Hey Siri", it means it continuosly listening ....

    To think that they have let' s say ... 200.000 Alexa or Google home, and they are recording 24/7 the conversations is delusional at best, the datacenter to mantain that kind of recordings would be ...wel impossible, and we are talking about 200.000 units, can you immagine millions?
    Yeah I don't trust Apple either, it's a company, and really don't buy their "we do not use your data" stuff...
    They denied foever about the battery issue, and we all know how that went...

    Not really, I mean keeping a record of everything million of user are saying? Having someone listening to millions of conversations...seems rather impossible to me, and if you are targeted they can hear / see what they want anyway.
     
  7. douglasf13 macrumors 68000

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    #7
    This is the big difference, and why I have Alexa turned off and the speaker covered on my thermostat, but I still use a HomePod.
     
  8. CPTmom2wp, Apr 13, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018

    CPTmom2wp thread starter macrumors 6502

    CPTmom2wp

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    #8
    Technically, I guess they don't sell actual names and addresses, but they are, in fact "allowing access" to any information that individuals choose to put on their FB page for advertisers and political fundraisers that pay FB for that privilege. The fact that there are 2 degrees of separation between the money and the personal information doesn't negate use of the word "selling" to me.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 13, 2018 ---
    "Hey Siri" is simply a trigger that starts interaction with the server. The important thing is that it isn't recording or storing anything personally identifiable.....unlike Google or Amazon.

    The NSA and DIA have been very successful in finding terrorists in just this way. When certain words or phrases are electronically identified, then the individuals involved in those conversations are targeted for closer scrutiny. Many terrorist plots have been stopped this way.

    Given the size of Alphabet and Amazon, not to mention their vast resources and data farms, I don't think it is delusional at all, particularly since they are stating that is exactly what they want to do.
     
  9. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #9
    There's a really simple solution: don't activate Siri or Alexa.....
     
  10. CPTmom2wp thread starter macrumors 6502

    CPTmom2wp

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    #10
    I don't think any of us knowingly have anything to hide. The problem comes when personal freedoms are targeted by an out of control government or corporation. In our founding days, paper documents were deliberately protected under free speech and privacy laws to prevent something someone had written to be confiscated and used against them should there be a change in government or political philosophy. With digital recording of written records and speech, it is even easier for those who want to control our personal freedoms (yes, to even say stupid stuff) to come after us and cut off our ability to communicate or even make a living. YouTube, FaceBook and Twitter have all targeted users who disagree with those who own the corporate entities in just the past few months, banning them (sounds like Hitler banning/burning books doesn't it?) permanently from those platforms. The problem with trying to punish or censor free speech is that you never know when you will be on the wrong side of those in power. It isn't paranoia when history has many examples of groups of people/individuals who think they are innocent being targeted after a change in the power structure.
     
  11. cynics macrumors G4

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #11
    Your (and my) freedom of privacy is important to me. Ignoring your freedom/right of privacy because you don't have anything to hide is no different then ignoring your freedom of speech because you don't have anything good to say. Plus I think most people that say that are thinking to broadly. For example what if your spouse/employer/friends/kids/parents/etc could hear everything you said? Surely we've all said something at one time in the privacy of our homes we didn't actually mean. Personally my boss would probably fire me after any given 16 hour day lol.

    With voice activated automation there is some level of risk involve regardless. As of the time of this post I feel Apple tries the hardest to respect my rights and freedoms when it comes to privacy which is why I choose to use Hey Siri with all my Apple products.

    Keep in mind, Amazon wants to sell you products. Google wants to sell you as a product. Apple isn't foolproof, they could benefit from listening "a little more carefully" they just don't have quite as much to gain as the aforementioned.

    Apple claims (again at the time of this post) not to store information that isn't Hey Siri relevant. For the most part I trust them but that could always change. Plus there is a hacker element. And hackers don't have to be some kid in their parents basement. While most of us dont have much to fear at the moment there are governments that would love to have microphones in their citizens homes.

    Don't think the HomePod isn't always listening though either. I just spent 30 minutes looking for a screenshot I can't remember if I even took or not. But back when I had my iPhone 5S I could activate Hey Siri mid sentence and on the screen it would actually show me the words prior to the Hey Siri activation. Ex. I could say "One two three Hey Siri four five" and it would show me, one two three hey siri four five, on the screen meaning it did at least record (maybe not "store") what I said without activating Siri. It bothers me I didn't take or can't find that screen shot.
     
  12. Julien, Apr 14, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018

    Julien macrumors G4

    Julien

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    #12
    This is also not correct. FB dose NOT disclose ANY of you personal data or disclose any of your personal data to advertisers. Much like Google and many other data companies they only give aggregate data to advertisers to allow targeting. Rule NUMBER 1: If you don't pay for a product then YOU are the product.

    Also it was Facebook USERS that willingly granted full data access (clicked on a button to allow) to their personal data to an app named "This Is Your Digital Life" that were affected. The app was presented as a personality test game and users willing allowed it full assess to their data. The app was funded by Cambridge Analytica who scraped all the users info. Cambridge Analytica then nefariously used and sold the data by violating Facebook terms.

    While I have no love for Facebook or their practices (like allowing apps) I feel it is important to understand the basic way things work.
     
  13. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

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    #13
    I am pretty sure that FB DOES disclose data by allowing companies like Cambridge Analytica to access their/our data. Not sure if they ment to do it or not but it happened and they is not getting it back.
     
  14. Julien, Apr 14, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018

    Julien macrumors G4

    Julien

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    #14
    Again it was the app that asked for allowing full data access and NOT Facebook 'selling' or giving your info. Sure in hindsight it was dumb that FB allowed these types of apps to hook into FB's data. It also appears the app thisisyourdigitallife didn't ask for full permission to assess your FB until you were closing it (normally this would be on he install or at initialization) which could be more confusing to the user. However it was the user that granted access to their data and NOT Facebook actively selling or sharing the data. Here is a good synopsis of the breach.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/04/facebook-cambridge-analytica-victims/557648/


    EDIT: Just add again I'M NO FAN of FB.
     
  15. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

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    #15
    I deleted my FB a couple of years ago and it was literally life changing.

    If one can, do it and you will see.
     
  16. CPTmom2wp thread starter macrumors 6502

    CPTmom2wp

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    #16
    Likewise and agree. I much prefer reading all the news instead of a select (by FB) few articles that are chosen (by FB) for me to see. I also prefer using Reader View on my Mac to avoid being targeted by ads. It is much less distracting....or maybe I'm just to easily distractible ;)
    --- Post Merged, Apr 14, 2018 ---
    Read and understood. I do think, however, that exposure of one active app by political hacks may indicate that there have been others or will be more in the future. FB doesn't seem to be able to catch a breech until after it's happened, which means that the data of FB users and their families and friends is not secure. And obviously, putting information on FB is not secure, but there are so many folks who just aren't aware and are at risk of identity theft.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 14, 2018 ---
    Interesting. Good summary of "differential privacy" found on HomePod. Third paragraph from the end.
    https://www.zdnet.com/article/apple-airpod-siri-speaker-assistant-wwdc-2017/
     
  17. Lowhangers macrumors member

    Lowhangers

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    #17
    From the official HomePod Manual from Apple:

    https://help.apple.com/homepod/#/apd99ee29027

    "Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of HomePod. Nothing you say is sent to Apple servers until HomePod recognizes “Hey Siri” before a request. All communication between HomePod and Apple servers is encrypted, and anonymous IDs protect your identity.

    For detailed information about privacy and Siri, see the
    iOS Security Guide.

    Turn off Hey Siri. Say “Hey Siri, stop listening.”When Hey Siri is turned off, touch and hold the top of HomePod to talk to Siri. To turn Hey Siri back on, in the Home app, press (or touch and hold) a HomePod, then tap Details and change the Listen for “Hey Siri” setting.

    Turn Location Services on or off. Siri uses your HomePod location to provide information about, for example, traffic, weather, and nearby businesses. To turn off Location Services, in the Home app, press (or touch and hold) a HomePod, then tap Details and change the Location Services setting.

    Reset HomePod. Before you give HomePod to someone else, you should reset it. In the Home app, press (or touch and hold) HomePod, tap Details, then tap Remove Accessory."
     
  18. CPTmom2wp thread starter macrumors 6502

    CPTmom2wp

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    #18
    This is the summary reference that I recalled but was too lazy to find. Thank you.:)
     
  19. Lowhangers macrumors member

    Lowhangers

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    #19
    You are most welcome.
     

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