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Cybersecurity expert breaks up talks recorded by Alexa, new privacy laws



28.05.2018 – SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) Spying on the Amazon Echo? Right now, that's one of the issues that Amazon is facing about its voice assistant Alexa, who is pushing his echo speakers. A woman in Portland, Oregon, says that her echo speaker recorded a conversation with her husband and then sent the audio file to one of her contacts. Robert Jorgensen, cyber security expert from Utah Valley University, determines whether he needs to worry or not

Jorgensen says this seems like a perfect failure storm. Many of us have inadvertently turned on Alexa or Siri or any other device with a word that sounds close. In this case, Jorgensen says that the conversation in the background was interpreted as a command to send a voice message to a contact and then as a confirmation to send the message.

Should we be worried that these devices are listening to us? Jorgensen says yes and no. To work, they have to listen to us. Typically, only small commands are sent for analysis and they do not send everything they hear. At the same time there is always the possibility that they accidentally capture something. He says that if you have a really sensitive conversation, you may want to mute the device for privacy reasons.

Speaking of privacy, many people have received emails from many companies updating their privacy policy. On Friday, a new European law came into force. The General Data Protection Act (DSGVO) requires companies to provide much more detail on how to use the consumer's data and give consumers access to their own data and even remove it.

Although it is a European law, we see it in the US. Many companies maintain a consistent privacy policy and have complied with their new EU laws. They have updated things for everyone.

It remains to be seen if this happens or not Change the way companies use date, but Google and Facebook have already been sued under the new law.

For more information, see UVU.edu/Cybersecurity.


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