Home » Comfort & Privacy: How to Achieve Both Using Digital Assistants

Comfort & Privacy: How to Achieve Both Using Digital Assistants

The Voice Privacy Paradox: Balancing Convenience With Data Security in Siri Interactions

“Hey Siri, how’s the weather today?” This is a simple prompt that you’ve probably given your virtual assistant before. The response you get would then help you determine whether an umbrella would come in handy during the day or not. So effortless, right?

The ease that Siri provides to our daily activities can’t be denied. You can get information and set reminders without using your hands. With these automations, making online purchases and using online gaming platforms like https://mr.bet/at is much easier. However, irrespective of how your virtual assistant serves you, there is the danger of a trade-off of your data and security. 

Let’s quickly dive into how to protect your data using Voice-Based Digital Assistants (VBDA). Follow closely till the end to learn some security-eroding activities to avoid henceforth.

Privacy Paradox

The privacy paradox is a phenomenon that describes the dichotomy of wanting to be private while using digital devices that could compromise the safety we so desire. Our virtual assistants are always with us. They are designed to identify and understand our behavioral patterns to better accommodate our requests; thus, they have a large amount of personal information. 

Common data that VBDAs like Siri collect includes your browsing history, contacts, location history, calendars, voice queries, and purchase history. Besides monitoring our routines and meetings, VBDAs are also believed to listen to our conversations with friends and family.

Common Digital Convenience Features That Can Pose Security Risks

Many users have expressed their wariness with the use of digital assistants. Although they have vast and profitable applications, potentially insecure functionality still exists. Below are some comfort services that have caused some security concerns:

  • Implementation of “wake up” phrases by Siri captured from conversations;
  • Launch of a new application and automatical access to some suggested contacts to connect with;
  • Connection to an open Wi-Fi without permission;
  • Start of the prior disabled video option during online communication;
  • Redirection of information to a third-party service without proper authorization.

What Causes the Situation

There are many reasons for a disconnect between the privacy we want and our actual behaviors towards it. Here are a few:

  • Poor Evaluation of Future Risks: It is common to find people downplay or exaggerate future risks in the light of their current experience;
  • Instant Gratification: People usually prioritize the present desire or convenience of their voice-based assistants while ignoring any future security breaches;
  • Compulsion: Some people are interested in being proactive in their online interactions. However, the challenge is that these digital service providers have privacy policies and terms that sometimes give them no option. They either accept their conditions or leave them.

Privacy Management: Five Simple Steps

Despite our value for privacy, some people don’t have the technical know-how to manage their digital presence. On the other hand, many consider it difficult and time-consuming to do so. Nonetheless, here are five easy ways to protect your personal data online:

  • Delete Unused Apps, Accounts, and Their Records: Be proactive in deleting data in accounts and associated applications you no longer use. The data that Siri collects is stored in accounts and can be deleted. Go to settings on your iPhone or iPad to delete Siri interactions on the account;
  • Confirm the Access That Siri Requests: Many people do not take the time to read the terms and conditions of using their virtual assistants. If you are uninterested in going through the document, pay attention to the access requests that Siri makes. Be sure that you are comfortable sharing the requests before granting them; 
  • Review Privacy Settings Regularly: Cross-check your security settings as often as possible to ensure there haven’t been any modifications to your preferences over time;
  • Turn Off Access on Lock Screen: To avoid unauthorized access to your voice-based digital assistant, make sure Siri is disabled on the lock screen. This step ensures that nobody can give a voice command on your device when locked;
  • Turn Off Input Devices: When not used, turn off cameras, microphones, and other input devices. This proactive measure prevents your VBDA from passive listening and recording your private conversations.

Know Your Rights!

Trust in the use of technology cannot be overemphasized. And there are legal structures put in place by various governments to ensure data protection and security. If a digital service provider breaches its agreement on how it promised to treat your information, you can take legal action against it. Also, there are ongoing reforms to ensure that consumers’ privacy is better protected in our technological age. Just ensure you play your part in protecting yourself by implementing the tips you’ve learned today.

About the author

Jack Reuben Fletcher

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment