Many have recently noticed the new “OK, Google” feature being offered when they use Google. This new feature lets you use your voice on the Google app or Chrome to do things like search, create reminders, get directions, access contacts and much more.
Explained in today’s article in The Guardian, written by Samuel Gibbs, this feature installs software capable of listening in and recording of conversations held in front of the computer and handheld device.
“Without consent, Google’s code had downloaded a black box of code that – according to itself – had turned on the microphone and was actively listening to your room,” said Rick Falkvinge, the Pirate party founder, in a blog post. “Which means that your computer had been stealth configured to send what was being said in your room to somebody else, to a private company in another country, without your consent or knowledge, an audio transmission triggered by … an unknown and unverifiable set of conditions… The default install will still wiretap your room without your consent, unless you opt out, and more importantly, know that you need to opt out, which is nowhere a reasonable requirement.”