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Here’s how to avoid being watched by voice assistants, says specialist

A specialist confirmed the possibility of smartphone applications or connected devices to capture conversations. According to her, voice assistants can activate after keywords spoken during a call and mistake that for a query. She recommended disabling them.

The voice assistants interfere from time to time in the conversations, but their developers explain these incidents by bugs. They kick in with keywords similar to an activation request, Russian Quality System (Roskachestvo) press service specialist Alesya Borovikova told Prime.

“Every smartphone owner has had this experience of bringing up a specific notion in a conversation and instantly getting contextual advertising. The developers’ clear explanation of this recurring phenomenon is not always there,” she said.

A “dangerous” device for confidentiality

In the case of a real leak of conversations, Borovikova clarified that it was possible that it wasn’t the phone that picked up them, but a connected speaker or a smart speaker.

“When you use an electronic device, you agree by default to share with the manufacturer” recordings used to improve service. “It is not uncommon for them to then be subcontracted to another country by contractors, and confidentiality is not guaranteed,” she explained.

To protect against wiretapping, the specialist recommended deactivating the smart speaker if it was not in use and not to discuss confidential matters near it.

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