Thursday, July 16, 2020
ADVT 
Life

Hey Google, Is My Wife Listening To Chats Via Smart Speaker?

29 Jan, 2020

    More than hackers, people are worried about friends, family and others who can listen to their conversations via smart speakers, reveals new research.


    A survey by University of British Columbia (UBC) researchers in Canada found that people feared potential misuse of the device from people they actually live with and know.


    "They worried that their housemates could order stuff online, overhear private conversations or access other people's reminders, calendars and phone contacts," explained Konstantin Beznosov, a professor of electrical and computer engineering who specializes in cybersecurity at UBC.


    "Of course, they were aware these actions could well be unintentional--such as a child accidentally using the last-number-dialled feature to call up their parent's employer, for example".


    The team spoke to 26 Canadian adults who used shared smart speakers at home, including Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod.


    They found that participants not only worried about keeping their data safe from the manufacturer or other entities; they also feared potential misuse of the device from people they know.


    Interestingly, the nature of the concern depended on the participant's "mental model" or technical understanding of how smart speakers work, said study primary author Yue Huang, a PhD student in electrical and computer engineering.


    "Participants who were very familiar with shared smart speakers were more worried about how technology shortcomings could affect the security of their devices," said Huang.


    An example is a smart speaker that occasionally fails to distinguish the main user's voice from another, which means it could grant people access to information they shouldn't have.


    However, users with more basic knowledge of how smart speakers work were more focused on their housemates' potential actions, and this sometimes meant seeing a threat where there was none.


    "One participant who worried his family member could redial a number was unaware the feature was not even available on the device," said Huang, noting that the study is the first to explore these mental models about shared smart speakers and link these models to attitudes.


    The results suggest that more work is needed to improve consumers' understanding of shared smart speakers and to make the technology more reliable.

    MORE Life ARTICLES

    Need of the Hour: Surrey’s Second Hospital

    A second hospital, being built in Cloverdale, adjacent to the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Campus at 5500180 St., is expected to begin construction within three years.

    Need of the Hour: Surrey’s Second Hospital

    New Year, New Market

    Predictions for BC’s Housing Market 2020

    New Year, New Market

    PICS’ Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants Program

    The Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS) provides support, programming and services for new immigrants to assist with their transition to Canada. 

    PICS’ Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants Program

    R. Paul Dhillon’s Gone Are The Days Wins Runner-Up Best Film Award At JIFF

    Gone Are The Days is the story of the epic struggle of Canadian-South Asian Veterinarians led by their leader Dr. Bhullar, who fought against institutional racism and abuse of power for more than decade. 

    R. Paul Dhillon’s Gone Are The Days Wins Runner-Up Best Film Award At JIFF

    Meet the Handa Family

    “Our journey so far has been great with many ups and downs.”

    Meet the Handa Family

    Canadians Can Earn Extra Cash in the New Year

    A Side Hustle to Ease that Holiday Credit Card Bill

     

    Canadians Can Earn Extra Cash in the New Year

    PrevNext