Apple considering offline mode for Siri

Not sure about how you use Siri or other voice assistants. For me, it’s in the car mostly or in other locations that just don’t have connectivity in that moment I’d need assistance. Local voice processing – in other words no cloud required – would indeed be a huge step for Apple or the technology as such. It’d also be an improvement looking at it from the privacy perspective.

If only Siri became better in understanding me.

Apple wants Siri to become more useful to users when not connected to the internet, including the possibility of an offline mode that does not rely on a backend server to assist with voice recognition or performing the required task, one that would be entirely performed on the user’s device.

Source: Apple considering offline mode for Siri that could process voice locally on an iPhone

Security Planner – Improve your online safety with tools for your needs.

The Citizen Lab, an

interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, focusing on research, development, and high-level strategic policy and legal engagement at the intersection of information and communication technologies, human rights, and global security.

released “Security Planner” early last week. Security Planner is a tool that will guide everybody through their Internet usage habits with only few simple questions

Answer a few simple questions to get personalized recommendations of free and open-source software. It’s confidential — no personal information is stored, and we won’t access any of your online accounts.

With this information, it provides simple steps and personalized safety recommendations to follow for the improvement of individuals privacy online. The recommendations base on free- and open source projects and best practices, aiming to raise awareness and help people maintain better privacy.

Source: Security Planner – Improve your online safety with tools for your needs.

Smart TV Security

So, this is the future of security with smart devices.

Samsung has confirmed that its “smart TV” sets are listening to customers’ every word, and the company is warning customers not to speak about personal information while near the TV sets. The company revealed that the voice activation feature on its smart TVs will capture all nearby conversations. The TV sets can share the information, including sensitive data, with Samsung as well as third-party services. The news comes after Shane Harris at The Daily Beast pointed out a troubling line in Samsung’s privacy policy: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.” Samsung has now issued a new statement clarifying how the voice activation feature works. “If a consumer consents and uses the voice recognition feature, voice data is provided to a third party during a requested voice command search,” Samsung said in a statement. “At that time, the voice data is sent to a server, which searches for the requested content then returns the desired content to the TV.” The company added that it does not retain or sell the voice data, but it didn’t name the third party that translates users’ speech. Update, Feb. 10: Samsung has updated its policy and named the third party in question, Nuance Communications, Inc. Meghan DeMaria

via: Samsung warns customers not to discuss personal information in front of smart TVs

Inaudible sounds to track you for ads.

Following the recent debate about ad-technology and how annoying it is and advertisers insight, you may have though it could only get better from there. Turns out, it can be worse if these claims about tracking through inaudible sounds from ads hold true.

Privacy advocates warn feds about surreptitious cross-device tracking.

Quelle: Ars Technica

Even though I’d consider this inacceptible from a consumers perspective, I’d be very curious about the (audio) technology and the kind of insight this provides, from a marketing perspective. Just consider a TV-Ad broadcasting this signal to a room full of people, for one the signal would sure be difficult to detect. And then, all devices carry the same cookie, making it difficult to identify individuals…