Google Home, Amazon Echo: CNIL warns users of dangers of smart speakers for privacy

Cnil (National Commission on Computing and Freedoms) issued a warning Finally towards smart speakers like Google Home or Amazon Echo that can multitask. It urges its users to be vigilant to best protect their privacy by not sharing too much personal data with these voice assistants.

Google Home, Amazon Echo and others collect personal data

Cnil reminds that first, “voice requests are recorded in the cloud, the same as if (the user) had typed on the keyboard in certain search engines.” He adds, “Even in persistent standby, these assistants are likely to record your conversations, including third-party conversations, when they recognize the keyword.” Therefore it recommends turn off the microphone or turn off the device when you are not using it. Regarding children, the CNIL explains that the settings make it possible to filter out certain types of sensitive or potentially shocking information. But it does suggest moderating or even banning interactions between kids and the device.

The Commission also insists that any personal data collected by affiliated speakers’ aides could potentially be exploited. for advertising purposes. It also encourages “connection services that are really helpful to you, considering the risks of sharing private data or sensitive features.” For example, configuring an alarm or opening doors via your connected speaker can be avoided if the need is not real.

As a precaution, the document recommends that users regularly delete their conversation history and questions asked. The issue of privacy and security around connected objects is attracting growing attention from Cnil, who attacks connected toys for a “serious invasion of privacy.” He works with manufacturers to understand how their technology works and considers ways to inform and protect the public, he says.

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