The study showed that smart speakers can record users multiple times during the day without their knowledge

Stories of spontaneous recording – more than the fantasies of individual users.
According to university research, smart speakers such as Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, and Google Home regularly launch popular TV shows and start recording private conversations.

Researchers from Northeastern University and Imperial College London made a discovery that was preceded by experiments with reproduction of Netflix content of various genres with a total duration of 125 hours. Scientists checked whether voice assistants are activated by dialogs in television programs in which keywords that activate devices are found.

The main objectives of the study were to find out how, when and why smart speakers without a user command suddenly begin to record ambient sounds. Researchers were also interested in the influence of various factors, including the location of the column, etc.

Researchers repeated the experiment repeatedly to understand which words constantly lead to activation and voice recording. The study used the 1st generation Google Home Mini speakers (evoking words: “OK”, “Hello”, “Hello, Google”), 1st generation Apple Homepod (“Hello, Siri”), Microsoft Harman Kardon Invoke (“ Cortana “), 2nd Generation Amazon Echo Dot (” Alexa “,” Amazon “,” Echo “,” Computer “) and 3rd Generation Amazon Echo Dot (” Alexa “,” Amazon “,” Echo “,” Computer ”) / A study showed that activations occurred up to 19 times a day, with HomePod and Microsoft Cortana assistant most exposed to random recordings. During the experiment, it turned out that the series Gilmore Girls and The Office were “responsible for most activations” due to the large number of dialogs in them. Researchers have also identified words and phrases that often trigger as a result of similarities with evocative words. The main conclusion that can be drawn from the results of the work done is that the stories about spontaneous recording are more than the fantasies of individual users or extremely rare curious accidents.

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