“Is Google Home/Alexa always listening?” Why does this have to be a debate?


The old “I was talking to my wife about trampolines and an hour later I see an ad for them on Amazon”. Is it that the providers can’t prove their claims to not be always listening, or that they can’t be forced to prove it?

In: Technology

There is no debate. The only way these devices can work is to *always* have a microphone going.

In Google’s case, it records everything a few seconds at a time and listens for its wake signal, “okay, Google.” This is all done on the system itself and if it doesn’t hear that phrase, none of it getting uploaded and it is deleted. Once it hears the wake signal, it starts recording and only that part is sent anywhere.

I can’t speak for any other devices, but this is most likely how all of the other ones work too.

It does send back information though. I had spoken with a friend about a product i had never searched in proximity of the alexa microphone. I didnt even know the name of the product its purpose prior to my friend explaining it to me, thus had never searched for it, or anything related too it. 2 hours later, again without searching anything, my targeted ads were all for that product. Creepy.