Monday, June 22, 2015

Google "Don't be Evil" is Listening to You Through Chrome.

Google Chrome Listening In To Your Room Shows The Importance Of Privacy Defense In Depth

"Yesterday, news broke that Google has been stealth downloading audio listeners onto every computer that runs Chrome, and transmits audio data back to Google. Effectively, this means that Google had taken itself the right to listen to every conversation in every room that runs Chrome somewhere, without any kind of consent from the people eavesdropped on. In official statements, Google shrugged off the practice with what amounts to “we can do that”.

It looked like just another bug report. "When I start Chromium, it downloads something." Followed by strange status information that notably included the lines "Microphone: Yes" and "Audio Capture Allowed: Yes".

Without consent, Google’s code had downloaded a black box of code that – according to itself – had turned on the microphone and was actively listening to your room."
Perhaps it is difficult to avoid all use of Google. This blog is a Google product, as is Gmail. But anything involved with either Google or Microsoft (and maybe Apple, for all I know) is always to be held with suspicion. Suspicion has been shown to be fully warranted. It is easy to find a browser which is not Google, but finding tools that are not MS is more difficult (I presume; I have not looked). The masking tape is going back over the forward facing video camera on my laptop, though, and tout suite.

1 comment:

Xellos said...

Tools which aren't MS? Hi, Linux (or other open-source software).

Open-source is particularly important - if you don't like what it does, you can modify the source and recompile. It takes a bit of learning, but opposing the powerful always takes effort.