It’s a common argument: “If I’m not doing anything wrong or illegal, what do I care if someone is recording me?”
A recent study found that the majority of Americans don’t care if their smart devices are always listening. The Safety.com team found that 66% of survey respondents said they don’t care about smart devices eavesdropping, instead suggesting that the convenience was too good to pass up.
While many major manufacturers of smart devices and smart phones insist that the hardware isn’t actually actively listening to everything consumers say, many consumers report feeling spooked by an advertisement that is suddenly hyper relevant to a previous conversation.
The real concern for privacy experts with a report like this is the blatant disregard of security. While most devices might be listening for performance improvement purposes, it is not hard to imagine a bad actor being able to get control of the listening functionality or perhaps the data recorded to be used to overstep boundaries on acceptable use.
As the above research suggests, not only are people not concerned about their personal privacy when it comes to smart devices, the smart device market continues to spike as more homes than ever before install them. A report listed in the study by Voiceboit AI has found that there are over 90 million smart devices in US homes and the market continues to expand.
It doesn’t seem likely that people are suddenly going to be come more concerned with privacy given what information is already readily available about how intrusive these devices are. With that, it is safe to assume that the smart device market could continue to expand their terms of service to be more intrusive as needed for business purposes.
As generations grow up with the convenience of a smart speaker in their home, ready to answer questions, play songs, or order something from the grocery store, it seems as if privacy won’t be of any concern.