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.
|"[Parents could face] a year in prison for publishing intimate photos of their children on social media."|
|Intelligence Gathering Should Never Be a Role for Private Companies|
|"How you can become a ghost on the Internet, by tracking down and eliminating your digital past."|
|What's the Sudden Big Deal with Government Spying, Anyway?|
|Everything You Need to Know About Canadian Digital Surveillance and Data Mining|
|“Cultured meat is finally on its way towards becoming a commercial reality.”|
|“There are but two powers in the world, the sword and the mind. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the mind.”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“Although this transition is irreversible, it carries potential for several robotic applications.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“If you really want to save the planet, you should die.”|
|Why, Typewriters Are Alive and Well, Thank you|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|Somebody Needs to Build a New Facebook Stat|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|When the Wrong Hastag Can Get You Killed by an Assassination Drone|
|Bizarre Record Covers|