privacy

Here’s how to turn off Amazon Alexa calling

Here’s how to turn off Amazon Alexa calling

If Alexa's "butt dialing" this week has made you paranoid about your Echo, you're not alone, but luckily there's a way to prevent inadvertent eavesdropping by the smart speaker. As one family of Echo owners discovered, to their horror, Alexa can mis-hear commands and accidentally share a private conversation with a random contact. There's a way to prevent that completely, but there are a few steps you need to know first.

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Just don’t buy that smart speaker

Just don’t buy that smart speaker

Alexa isn't eavesdropping on your every conversation, secretly sharing them with whoever it likes, but even if it was there's an easy way to avoid that. The latest controversy over smart speakers and the Internet of Things comes down to privacy, as is so often the way, with Amazon's Echo accused of playing impromptu postwoman with a private chat recorded and shared.

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Alexa Echo Eavesdropping: What went wrong, How to stop it

Alexa Echo Eavesdropping: What went wrong, How to stop it

Amazon's Alexa made a boo-boo this week. In a home in Portland, Alexa heard what she thought were a set of commands - to record a conversation and send it to a contact - and she did that. Unfortunately, the people in the conversation had no idea this was happening. As Amazon explains it, it's likely Alexa was doing exactly what she was meant to do.

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Snapchat Send and Request Location is thankfully less invasive

Snapchat Send and Request Location is thankfully less invasive

Snapchat seems to need no help from third-party actors to stir up controversy. But, as they say, bad publicity is still publicity. Even before the widely unpopular redesign or the more recent unskippable ads, Snapchat had its always-on location broadcasting Snap Map feature. That potentially privacy-invasive feature eventually sagged after a brief surge of popularity but now Snapchat has found a compromise: a feature that lets you send or request a location when and where you need it and not forever.

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Amazon admits Echo eavesdropping as Alexa shares private chat [Updated]

Amazon admits Echo eavesdropping as Alexa shares private chat [Updated]

Amazon is investigating how an Echo recorded a conversation and sent that to another person, after one Portland couple claims the smart speaker eavesdropped on their discussion. The incident, which Amazon has described as "an extremely rare occurrence," is likely to reignite concerns around privacy, the Internet of Things, and increasingly connected devices.

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Amazon’s AI is powering scary police facial-recognition systems

Amazon’s AI is powering scary police facial-recognition systems

Amazon has quietly been pushing its Rekognition AI system to police departments, using the deep learning technology to power real-time facial recognition. The company has already deployed Rekognition-powered services in a number of US states, it's reported, automating the identification of "people of interest" from multiple cameras spread across cities.

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Razer GDPR update: Old software wont work anymore

Razer GDPR update: Old software wont work anymore

This morning Razer began rolling out an update for the Razer Phone, an update that'll change just a couple things. The most important part of the update is a series of upgrades that'll bring the Razer Phone up to full GDPR standards. "Razer highly values its users’ privacy, and therefore we are adding the highest standards of GDPR requirements from the across the globe to the Razer Phone," said a Razer representative. "We welcome the implementation of GDPR as it is an important step to enabling and empowering individual privacy rights."

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TeenSafe child monitoring app leaked thousands of customer data

TeenSafe child monitoring app leaked thousands of customer data

It seems that our eagerness or carelessness in surrendering our data so easily to companies and services is finally coming back to haunt us. From massive customer database hacking to the recent Facebook scandal, the data we've sowed on company servers are now being reaped by others, often by criminals. This latest incident is both unfortunate and probably also inevitable. TeenSafe, an app that's supposed to keep kids safe by letting their parents monitor them, has now practically achieved the opposite by leaking parents' and children's data to almost anyone who has been able to grab hold of its database.

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HTC Exodus blockchain phone: this is what it means

HTC Exodus blockchain phone: this is what it means

HTC hasn't been doing so well lately, at least not in the smartphone market. A large chunk of its mobile team have been shuffled over to Google. The company mostly remains afloat thanks to its VIVE VR platform. Still, there are some in the company that strongly believe that HTC still has something to offer that no one else can, starting with ambition and audacity. The newly revealed HTC Exodus concept phone is being called as the way of the future, just as the blockchain and cryptocurrency on which it revolves around has been called similarly. But just like blockchains and cryptocurrency, it might be a technology too far into the future and too ahead of its time.

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Echo Dot Kids privacy concerns raised by lawmakers, advocacy group

Echo Dot Kids privacy concerns raised by lawmakers, advocacy group

Amazon is facing both questions and criticism following the launch of its new Echo Dot for Kids, a colorful version of its Echo Dot product marketed specifically for children. The device is identical to the regular Dot device, the only exception being its colorful skin; it does, however, bring FreeTime Unlimited out-of-the-box alongside a slew of privacy concerns.

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Tim Cook’s Duke speech is a sign of WWDC 2018’s focus

Tim Cook’s Duke speech is a sign of WWDC 2018’s focus

WWDC 2018 may still be a few weeks away, but in the aftermath of both Google I/O and Microsoft's Build it's already clear what Apple's big focus will be. The annual developer event is always an opportunity to see the latest-and-greatest - and a preview of what Apple hopes will be even greater over the next twelve months - but if Tim Cook's commencement speech at Duke University this weekend is anything to go by, there'll be more than just tech on the agenda.

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Facebook suspends around 200 apps in privacy audit

Facebook suspends around 200 apps in privacy audit

Facebook has suspended around 200 third-party apps, after its data misuse investigation found signs that they may have been acting improperly. The app audit was part of Facebook's grand mea-culpa earlier this year, after the part the social network played in the Cambridge Analytica scandal was revealed.

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