We already knew that our search topics get recorded and getting similar advertisements and searches thereafter is a known phenomenon. 

But, did you also know that our voices can too be recorded? Private conversations are not so private anymore!

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Yes, you read that right.

Apparently, those little microphones on your phone aren’t just used for making calls and giving commands to Siri. Smartphones are small tracking devices. 

Your most trustable device that you spend the most time with is recording a vast amount of audio information including behaviours and interests and could be selling it to the third parties. 

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You might have noticed that pop up requesting microphone access when you download any app on your phone, right? On enabling it, the app can listen to what you are saying even if they’re running in the background. 

The New York Times recently reported that certain gaming apps – majorly popular among children – can keep track of users’ TV viewing habits and use that data to create targeted ads.

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And no, it doesn’t stop there!

Besides your smartphone, other devices like Amazon Echo have been designed specifically for this. On saying the word “wake” which for this device is “Alexa”, it gets activated. 

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However, it was reported that it can listen to entire conversations happening around even if the owner hasn’t said ‘Alexa’.

The vulnerability could let cybercriminals listen to microphone recordings, see an owner’s Amazon credentials, steal sensitive information and take over the device.

Another device Google Home Mini, a smart speaker, was reported with a similar flaw by Android Police tech blogger and founder Artem Russakovskii. 

He said:

It was waking up thousands of times a day without the wake word “OK Google” and recording audio clips in his home, then sending them to Google without his knowledge.

It was late disabled by Google permanently via software update.

The next device which intruded on our privacy is the Samsung SmartTV.

Mashable

It was reported that Samsung’s SmartTV voice command feature can listen in on private conversations, essentially eavesdropping and recording what’s happening within the room and transmits user data (and their requests) to third parties as reported by The Daily Beast.

Samsung’s clarified saying,

It only “listens” to what you’re saying when you’re engaged with the voice activation software. If you’re having a normal conversation in the room and don’t address the TV first, it’s not collecting data. It also emphasized that users can also turn off the voice recognition feature.

Well, we love technology and are getting used dependent on it, but at what cost?