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.
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|"Encode your message into something innocent looking."|
|"Anyone refusing to reveal their face may be imprisoned for up to a month."|
|"Children themselves are unaware that everything they say to the doll is being listened to."|
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|"Cells have the capacity to process and respond to instructions and codes inputted into their main system."|
|"There needs to be more aggressive enforcement action on tech companies like Google."|
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|“Clicking on a Facebook advert may reveal things about yourself you don’t want anyone to know.”|
|“The greatest economic crisis of our age: the one still awaiting us.”|
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|“Instead of consuming fossil fuels, it would then feed surplus electricity into the grid.”|
|“If you don’t remember any of these countries from geography class, you’re not alone.”|
|"They’ve managed to plant, tend, and harvest an acre and a half of barley using only autonomous vehicles."|