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Google chief says people should warn visitors of smart speakers in their homes 

Alexa, warn our guests that you’re eavesdropping on them: Google chief says people should warn visitors of smart speakers in their homes

  • Rick Osterloh said homeowners should make visitors aware of the technology 
  • He said: ‘Gosh, I haven’t thought about this before in quite this way’ 
  • It is estimated that 22 per cent of UK households have a digital assistant 

One of Google’s top bosses says people should warn their guests if they have smart speakers operating in their home.

Voice assistants – such as the Google Home and Amazon Echo devices – work by listening to what is being said around them and responding when addressed.

Asked whether homeowners should make visitors aware that technology could be eavesdropping on them, Rick Osterloh, senior vice-president of devices at Google, said: ‘Gosh, I haven’t thought about this before in quite this way.’

Asked whether homeowners should make visitors aware that technology could be eavesdropping on them, Rick Osterloh, senior vice-president of devices at Google, said: ‘Gosh, I haven’t thought about this before in quite this way.’ Stock picture

It is estimated that 22 per cent of UK households have a digital assistant. Stock picture

It is estimated that 22 per cent of UK households have a digital assistant. Stock picture

He told the BBC: ‘I would and do when someone enters into my home, and it’s probably something that the products themselves should try to indicate. 

‘We have to consider all stakeholders that might be in proximity.’

It is estimated that 22 per cent of UK households have a digital assistant, and last month teachers warned that the devices were being used as digital nannies. 

A survey of reception teachers found that some children were starting school unable to use a book – often trying to ‘swipe’ the pages like a mobile phone.

One told Channel 4 News: ‘Many of the children now go to sleep with a story from Alexa rather than a parent.’

Meanwhile, a US psychologist has urged parents to treat voice assistants with respect. 

Dr Laura Phillips, of the Child Mind Institute, told the Daily Telegraph that aggressive language towards the devices could be a bad influence on children.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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