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If they (the smart assistant makers) would promote the fact that their devices only go online after the trigger word is detected that would go far is assuaging people's fear of the always-on microphone

They have.

The reality is that conspiracy theorists aren't interested in learning how things actually work, which is why they're conspiracy theorists.

In reality your phone is a significantly bigger threat to privacy both in terms of normal day to day monitoring (e.g. location tracking) and even listening in (a closed source baseband that can communicate on a platform you cannot even monitor).

what's crazy, is that one of the biggest leaks here is cell tower location tracking from triangulation. Like not the gps data that gets constantly sent to google/apple but the fact that there is a middle man that sells all that shit to whom ever. This has been a problem since before smart phones but it's mostly transparent to the user so people don't seem to be bothered by it.

When people see the GPS is on all the time or can look up their location data off their phone, it feels uncomfortable, but then they make un-encrypted phone calls through ma bell and let their location get sold.

People are really bad a privacy and key on these obvious, invasive feeling, technologies but then miss the bigger picture.

Most people don't learn how things work, they learn to believe in authority telling them how things work.

Conspiracy theorists have less faith in authority figures, which is why they're conspiracy theorists.

If that was the case, my Pi-hole would not be blocking thousands of outgoing network requests from my Echo and Google Home.

Can they change the trigger word, eg if they get instructed via a national security letter?

Whilst offline, is it possible for the device to store audio?

Is all writable storage auditable by users?

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