John Lister's picture

Amazon Patent Eavesdrops, Targets User Ads

Amazon has patented a system for listening to devices in order to better target advertising to users. But it says it doesn't use the feature in its gadgets. The patent dates back to an initial application in 2011, but the most recent version was not ... approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office until last November and has only recently been made public. The basis of the patent is 'sniffer' technology, though that's used as an analogy to reflect the idea that the devices wouldn't permanently capture and store what people were saying. Instead they would use trigger words. Saying 'Like' Would ... (view more)

John Lister's picture

Report: CIA Hacking Smart TVs, Listening In

Leaked documents suggest the CIA has a program for spying on people through home devices such as Smart TVs. However, it appears such attacks are highly targeted and often require physical access to the TVs. The claims come through a batch of 8,761 ... documents released by WikiLeaks, which says they come from the CIA. That agency has yet to comment on their authenticity and have not yet been independently verified. The documents are said to detail some of the tactics the CIA have used to improve digital surveillance. The overall message is that the agency appears to be concentrating more on ... (view more)

Brandon Dimmel's picture

'Creepy' Facebook Feature Listens to Your Activity

Facebook is facing a serious backlash over a new feature that allows it to listen in on its smartphone users. When activated, the feature uses the device's microphone to detect a user's activity and automatically updates their "status" accordingly. ... For example, if a user is listening to a new U2 album on their stereo in the background, Facebook will use a smartphone's microphone to update a user's status to "Listening to U2". It can also detect movies and television shows and update a user's status to read "Watching Iron Man" or "Watching ... (view more)

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