Your smart TV or AI-powered speaker can spot when someone is having an affair.
That’s according to one leading privacy expert, who says the snooping gadgets harvest enough data that they can work out people’s relationships.
The dangers of “smart” tech in the home were discussed at a recent science conference in Washington, according to the Mirror.
A former US government data advisor warned that taped conversations and location data could be used to oust cheaters.
They have the potential to track saucy conversations between secret lovers, or show when occupants of a building share a bedroom on the sly.
“Smart meters can tell you whether an individual is at home and what appliances are used,” said Duke University Professor Ashwin Machanavajjhala.
“Smart light bulbs and wifi access points can reveal occupancy. Social relationships between building occupants can be inferred by analyzing sensor logs.
“Smart TVs and voice assistants can pick up living room chatter, some of which may be shared with third parties.”
Around one in ten people in the UK own a smart speaker, with Google, Amazon and Apple all offering versions of the tech.
But despite the speakers flying off the shelves, we still don’t fully know what tech companies do with the data they collect.
Recorded chats and locations could be harvested for research, stored in the cloud and used to help target adverts or sold to third parties.
Professor Machanavajjhala was speaking at this year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science meet, one of the world’s biggest science conferences.
He said he refuses to have a smart speaker in his home for fear of privacy violations.
“I’m waiting for privacy protections to come in. We need to know what is being collected about us, whether or not we have anything to hide.”
Issues remain over who your data is shared is once it hits the cloud, he added.
“Smart devices move data to the cloud so they can be analyzed using sophisticated algorithms.
“Once data is on the cloud users lose control over it. There is little transparency about who it is shared with.”
An Amazon spokesperson told The Sun that customers can delete voice recordings if they’re worried about how the company uses them.
“At Amazon, customer trust is of the utmost importance, and we take privacy seriously. By default, Echo devices are designed to only capture audio after it detects the wake word.
“Only after the wake word is detected does audio get streamed to the cloud, and the stream closes immediately after Alexa processes a customer request.
“No audio is stored or saved on the device. Customers can also review and delete voice recordings in the Alexa App or by visiting www.Amazon.com/Alexaprivacy.”
Google and Apple were not available for comment.
Facebook has had its own smart speaker in the works for years, but its release has been delayed by the tidal wave of data privacy controversies that hit the company last year.
Amazon Echos had problems over Christmas because so many people were logging into the smart speakers they got as gifts.
Popular voice assistants like Alexa and Siri can be controlled using ‘silent’ commands hidden in music.
In the hands of hackers, the tricks could be used by to steal money from your bank account and unlock smart locks to enter your home, researchers warned last year.
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