Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Stacking Privacy-Friendly Tech on Top of Privacy-Questionable Tech

As reported at The Verge:

The gadget, called Alias, is an always-listening speaker, but it only connects to the internet during the initial setup process. That way, Alias stays 'off the grid' while you’re using it, preventing your conversations from leaving the device, Bjørn Karmann, one of the developers, told The Verge. When the Alias hears its own wake word, it’ll stop broadcasting white noise [into the Alexa or Google speaker to cover your conversations] and wake up Alexa or Google Assistant so you can use them as normal.

It's not a product for sale, it's a DIY project at Github. requiring a 3-D printer, a Raspberry Pi, two speakers, and code that's still in development.

If I ran Amazon's or Google's home speaker program, I'd be racing to incorporate both the "listen for wake word offline, white noise to the Internet-connected part when it's not being used" and the "choose any wake word you want" features into the existing products.

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