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I'm probably biased because I lived my early childhood behind the Iron Curtain but I can't for the life of me understand why someone would buy these. The cost-benefit is just not there.

the cost is there :D just no benefits, like most 'products' today... i can't imagine 1 unit being sold to anyone but some addicted person who needs to have all-the-new-things regardless of their use.

Probably an overestimated cost.

I agree that your phone can delegate the same voice commands to your smart devices or do Q&A, but some of these devices are also decent speakers to stream music casually (eg. $75 Echo).

If you don't trust these devices, you probably wouldn't trust your phone either.

And I have a feeling many people who make a privacy case against Echo/Home forget that their phone does the same thing.

My phone is in my pocket, which signficantly degrades the audio quality of any recordings. Same reason I have a cover over my laptop camera, but not over my phone camera.

I've made several audio recordings with my phone in my pocket. Unless you're very consistent with the pocket and placement of your phone, that isn't a significant mitigation.

In addition to knowing where you are, and potentially what sites you visit, who you communicate with, etc.

Huh. I came to the opposite conclusion - growing up in Eastern Europe, "they're always listening" is the default position for me, so one more listening device is no big deal.

That's why I was never surprised by the Facebook 'revelations' and stuff. But that doesn't enable me to make their surveillance easier, tovarase!

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