Here's how to stop Alexa eavesdropping on you in your own home
Alexa and Google Home devices are the most popular smart home hubs, giving users an effortless way to manage their home, life, and entertainment.
Increasingly, however, more unnerving revelations are made about Amazon and Google listening to customers in their own home.
A BBC Panorama documentary aired last week outlined exactly how much data Amazon stores on its customers, and how the once online shopping platform may have turned into a global surveillance giant, already teasing governments with its tech.
So how do you stop Alexa from listening to you?
You can actually limit what Alexa hears by heading to your Alexa app settings and deselecting 'Help improve Amazon services and develop new features'. This means Amazon, and the similar alternative on Google devices, decreases the amount of data it stores from you.
Or, you can get your hands on this new piece of spy-busting kit from the University of Chicago who have invented a bracelet that jams nearby cameras and microphones.
It may not necessarily be attractive to wear, but this jammer is able to block nearby microphones. The bracelet consists of 24 small speakers that emit inaudible ultrasonic sounds so the user cannot hear them, but nearby tech certainly does.
The microphones start hissing, much like the sound of white noise, making it impossible for them to detect human speech.
In fact, the "anti-Alexa bracelet" isn't any different to normal mic jammers, but the style of a bracelet makes it easier to use. Moving your arms whilst talking means the jammer can spread over a wide area.
The University of Chicago said, “Despite the initial excitement around voice-based smart devices, consumers are becoming increasingly nervous with the fact that these interactive devices are, by default, always listening, recording, and possibly saving sensitive personal information.
“Therefore, it is critical to build tools that protect users against the potential compromise or misuse of microphones in the age of voice-based smart devices.”
Since this device is a prototype it is highly likely that it will be made smaller in size and available for sale soon.