Google Chrome (Chromium) becomes spyware, listening for “Ok Google Now”

But you can disable it, they say.

Factoids

Storyline

In archaeological order, derivative works on top, original causality chain goes down.

  • 500922#c22 (mgiuca@chromium.org) – continued response
  • 500922#c6 (mgiuca@chromium.org) – Hotword behaviour in chromium v43 (binary blob download; Chromium; 2015-06-16.
  • mgiuca – <quote>Hi, I’m an engineer from Google responsible for the hotword module<snip/></quote> 2015-06-17
  • 786909chromium: unconditionally downloads binary blob; Debian; 2015-05-26.
  • 491435Opt-out Chrome Hotword Shared Module; Chromium; 2015-05-22.
  • 9724409Chromium unconditionally downloads binary blob (debian.org); on Hacker News; 2015-06-16.

Promotions

Actualities

$ sudo find /home -xdev -name 'hotword*'
/home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/hotword_de.nmf
/home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/hotword_en-gb.nmf
/home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/hotword_ru.nmf
/home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/hotword_.nmf
/home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/images/hotword.png
/home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/hotword_fr.nmf
/home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/_platform_specific/x86-64_/hotword.data
/home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/_platform_specific/x86-64_/hotword-x86-64.nexe
$ sudo find /home/raymond/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn | sort | sudo xargs ls -ld | sed -e 's/raymond/USER/g'
drwx------. 3 USER USER   4096 Aug 23  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn
drwx------. 6 USER USER   4096 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0
drwx------. 2 USER USER   4096 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/audio
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER   8918 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/audio/1_short_Open_16_16.wav
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER  30773 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/audio-input-compiled.js
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER    175 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/audio_input.html
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER  55089 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/audio-manager-compiled.js
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER    276 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/background.html
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER  30427 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/content-bundle-compiled.js
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER    243 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/hotword_de.nmf
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER    252 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/hotword_en-gb.nmf
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER    243 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/hotword_fr.nmf
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER    237 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/hotword_.nmf
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER    243 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/hotword_ru.nmf
drwx------. 2 USER USER   4096 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/images
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER   1067 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/images/error.png
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER   1909 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/images/hotword.png
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER   3932 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/images/icon-128.png
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER    547 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/images/icon-16.png
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER   1493 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/images/icon-48.png
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER    482 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/images/mic-hotword.gif
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER    524 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/images/mic-normal.gif
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER   1809 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/images/off.png
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER   1873 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/images/speech.png
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER   2925 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/manifest.json
drwx------. 2 USER USER   4096 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/_metadata
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER   4134 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/_metadata/verified_contents.json
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER  10942 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/options-compiled.js
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER  19510 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/options.css
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER   2691 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/options.html
drwx------. 3 USER USER   4096 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/_platform_specific
drwx------. 2 USER USER   4096 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/_platform_specific/x86-64_
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER 273631 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/_platform_specific/x86-64_/hotword.data
-rw-rw-r--. 1 USER USER 394688 Aug  8  2014 /home/USER/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/0.1.1.5023_0/_platform_specific/x86-64_/hotword-x86-64.nexe

Ambient voice monitoring by Nuance via Samsung Smart TVs

Claim:

Samsung SmartTVs listen to the ambient conversations in the room; these conversations are sent to third parties.

Appearing

Response

Samsung Smart TVs Do Not Monitor Living Room Conversations; editor; In Samsung Tomorrow; 2015-10.

Commencing … <quote>Samsung takes consumer privacy very seriously and our products are designed with privacy in mind. </quote>

Continuing … <quote>Voice recognition takes place in two ways:</quote>

Mentioned:

  • Voice Recognition
  • Nuance Communications Inc.

Unmentioned:

  • Yahoo’s, IntoNow technology.

Storyline

Archaeological order, newer derivatives on top; older, more original material, buried below.

Via: backfill.

Statements

  • Samsung’s SmartTV Privacy Policy
  • Nuance has a separate Privacy Policy (not shown)

<quote>You can control your SmartTV, and use many of its features, with voice commands. If you enable Voice Recognition, you can interact with your Smart TV using your voice. To provide you the Voice Recognition feature, some voice commands may be transmitted (along with information about your device, including device identifiers) to a third-party service that converts speech to text or to the extent necessary to provide the Voice Recognition features to you. In addition, Samsung may collect and your device may capture voice commands and associated texts so that we can provide you with Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve the features. 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 through your use of Voice Recognition.</quote>

<quote>If you do not enable Voice Recognition, you will not be able to use interactive voice recognition features, although you may be able to control your TV using certain predefined voice commands. While Samsung will not collect your spoken word, Samsung may still collect associated texts and other usage data so that we can evaluate the performance of the feature and improve it.

You may disable Voice Recognition data collection at any time by visiting the “settings” menu. However, this may prevent you from using all of the Voice Recognition features.</quote>

Responses

Remediation

General

Unrelated