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Privacy Problems Are Widespread for Alexa, Google Assistant Voice Apps


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Google Home (left), which runs Google Assistant, and Amazon's Alexa.

Clemson University School of Computing researchers have found that privacy policies for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa often violate baseline requirements.

Credit: nimblechapps.com

Researchers at the Clemson University School of Computing found that privacy policies for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa often violate baseline requirements.

The researchers analyzed 64,720 Alexa skills and 2,201 Google Assistant actions, and found that 46,768 of the Alexa skills and 234 of the Google Assistant actions do not include links to policies.

Another 1,755 skills and 80 actions have broken policy links.

Said the researchers, "Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant not explicitly requiring app-specific privacy policies results in developers providing the same document that explains data practices of all their services. This leads to uncertainties and confusion among end users."

The researchers suggest a built-in intent that notifies users if the skill has data collection capabilities.

A brief privacy notice could be read aloud to users when the app is first enabled, or users could be advised to review a detailed policy provided by the developers.

From Venture Beat
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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