The News Today
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10.19.19
Watching Alexa

New App Tells You When Your Smart Speaker Is Spying On You

April 25th 19__Dan Robitzski__Filed Under: Robots & Machines
Rahul Chakraborty via Unsplash/Pixabay/Tag Hartman-Simkins

Double Agent

Your internet-connected devices share a lot of the information that they collect about you, even when you’re not actively using them.

To help inform people about just how much personal information gets sent out, a team of Princeton University scientists built a tool that tracks every transmission that a smart home device, whether it’s an Amazon Echo or a smart TV, sends out into the world.

Self-Surveillance

The app, called the Princeton IoT Inspector, uses a common hacking technique called ARP spoofing, according to a slideshow that the team published along with their app.

That technique lets the app intercept all of the activity on a WiFi network to track what information is being sent to whom. For instance, the app could track which TV networks and ad agencies see the shows you watch on a smart TV or how much of your personal data gets sent out by a smart speaker.

Third Party

It’s no surprise that our devices share information with marketers, but the extent to which that happens is often a well-kept industry secret, writes CBC.

“Our smart devices are watching us,” reads the app’s website. “It’s time for us to watch them.”

READ MORE: ‘It’s time for us to watch them’: App lets you spy on Alexa and the rest of your smart devices [CBC]

More on the internet of things: Amazon Workers Listen to Your Alexa Conversations, Then Mock Them