A smart speaker should streamline their users’ lives. Security appears to be an afterthought for the big manufacturers though. Do you want your conversations about flooring or more something more personal leaked? I would imagine not. As Facebook stock plummets, partly over user privacy concerns, who in the tech world can we trust? In a time when trust in smart speakers is shaky, the alternative voices must speak up.
Facebook, stock and privacy
Facebook stock began tumbling yesterday, as it warned investors about slowed growth. This is in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal. Millions of Facebook users in Europe left the platform since. This is a clear sign that people will not stand for such practice.
There have been rumours that Facebook is creating its own smart speaker. Yikes! If the company was so careless in the recent past, one must question how trustworthy that device would be.
It isn’t the only tech company whose users have experienced data leaks. Earlier this year, Amazon’s Alexa leaked a couple’s conversation about hardwood floors. More clearly needs to be done to avoid such mishaps.
Smart speaker saviours
Who will save us from this centralised planet and transport us to a decentralised Mars? More and more people do not want the cloud to contain their data, ready to rain down at any minute. Instead, they want to have control of what’s theirs.
Smart speaker users should have greater freedom. They should be able to choose from a range of devices, not only those by the big companies in the game. What if there were a device that integrated with a range of independent platforms? Think Spotify alternatives like Musicoin, ticketing alternatives like BitTicket etc.
Why then have a Google assistant over one that’s independent of such large corporations?
‘Ease of use’ is often advertised as the biggest selling point of smart speakers. This should, of course, not come at the expense of security though, but often does.
Devices created by those who respect privacy will give us our voices back, and make them louder. Our privacy is ours, our voice is ours.