According to Privacy Online News, a recent update in Google Chrome (and its derivatives, like Chromium), downloaded and installed without notice Ok Google, effectively monitoring every conversation you have near your computer.
Obviously, your own computer isn’t the one to analyze the actual search command. Google’s servers do. Which means that your computer had been stealth configured to send what was being said in your room to somebody else, to a private company in another country, without your consent or knowledge, an audio transmission triggered by… an unknown and unverifiable set of conditions.
Google had two responses to this. The first was to introduce a practically-undocumented switch to opt out of this behavior, which is not a fix: the default install will still wiretap your room without your consent, unless you opt out, and more importantly, know that you need to opt out, which is nowhere a reasonable requirement. But the second was more of an official statement following technical discussions on Hacker News and other places.
|“So is this just paranoia, or are our smartphones actually listening?”|
|“Most have no idea who these companies are and how they got their data on them.”|
|Apple Will No Longer Unlock iPhones for the Police|
|“Google's DNS resolver is great, but diversity is good and we thought we could do even better.”|
|Edward Snowden May Possibly Be One of Many Leakers|
|Chinese warehouse organises, packs, and fulfills 200,000 orders a day with four people|
|“A machine meant to hurl rockets into space.”|
|Fake Name Generator|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“The only thing worse than assuming that carbon removal will save the day is assuming it will save the day.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|What Computers See When They Watch a Movie|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|Recycled Vacuum Lamps|
|David Reeves' Paper Cutouts Inspired by Classic Cult Movies|