Tag Archives: voice activated

Samsung Confirms That Smart Devices Will Spy On You — Big Brother Watching YOU!

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and read excerpt here. Use link below to access original at “The Week”.

Click here for the original at “The Week”.

This is exactly what I was referring to when I said, on Monday of this week, that I had MAJOR privacy concerns when it came to the Amazon ECHO that was advertised during the Super Bowl.

As somebody who has been actively involved in computers for 47 years (yes, since 1969) I have a good grasp of what the technology can do and what vendors are likely to do with that technology.

That smart devices go out of their way to collect data on us is not knew. I first subscribed to satellite TV 24 years ago. Of course that meant I had to have a settop box that had a phone connection — supposedly so that I could PPTV. But the guy who installed the system told me, kindly, that the main reason for having the phone connection was so that all of the channels that I had surfed through could be uploaded, at 2 am in the morning, on a regular basis — on the pretext that diagnostics were being performed on the box and that new software was being downloaded. That was 1992.

Obviously any smart device that offers voice commands MUST listen to everything going on so that in can pickup its name. This was my concern with Amazon’s ECHO. Having an Internet-connected device, with a sensitive mike, in the middle of our living area listening to everything that was going on. What a boon for Amazon. 

Yes, as is the case with Samsung, in theory, they need to cover this in their published privacy policy. But that is just in theory.

So be warned. Be aware. Be very afraid. Big brother is watching you and listening to you. Any internet connected device with a camera and mike can spy on you without you realizing it. SMILE.


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by Anura Guruge

Amazon ‘Echo’, As In Super Bowl Ad, Apple’s Siri On The ‘Cheap’.

by Anura Guruge


Amazon’s ‘Echo’ Super Bowl ad. Click to access YouTube video posted by Amazon.

I am sure most people seeing the Super Bowl ad yesterday had NO idea as to what an AmazonEcho‘ was and what it was capable of doing — other than maybe play music, turn lights on and answer questions. But these features are NO LONGER new, let alone ‘oh gosh’ to many people. From TV ads I have seen (albeit not during Super Bowl) quite a few contemporary cars have this type of voice-controlled automation — and then there is Apple’sSiri‘. [You really should check out this ‘Siri‘ link.]

So this is not groundbreaking technology. Amazon had offered my one, as a Prime customer, at a discount quite a few months ago. I really didn’t see a need. PLUS it would never be able to understand my garbled accent — given that most times I can’t understand what I am saying.

PLUS, there is a MAJOR privacy reason I will talk about in a later post!

For now let me just give you the specs. Yes, you need an APP, running on an mobile device, to set it up.

Click images to ENLARGE and study here.

Use this link to access Amazon’s product page for the ‘Echo’.

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by Anura Guruge