Survey: Two-Thirds Unfazed Smart Devices Always Listening

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Two-thirds of Americans are unconcerned personal Internet-connected devices could be recording them in some way, according a survey by the website Safety.com.

Of 1,091 adults over the age of 18 surveyed, 66.7% said they did not care if their home smart device, such as Amazon’s virtual assistant “Alexa,” which is activated by a voice command, was always listening, the website reported.

Women were more concerned than men by more than 7%, older adults such as baby boomers were more concerned than millennials or those in Generation Z, while Generation X individuals were about evenly split.

Those in “tech-dominated cities” also were less concerned than in less tech-dominated cities, the website said, but it did not specify a definition or criteria for determining the designation.

The article pointed to suspicions about advertising that appears on someone’s mobile smartphone or tablet as being too specific or shortly after a conversation about a particular item or topic.

It also referred to manufacturers – without identifying any by name – such as Amazon repeatedly assuring the public their devices do not constantly monitor a user’s every word.

However, The New York Times and other publications have reported the devices are constantly listening, if for no other reason so they can hear their default command word.

Safety.com’s survey was conducted Dec. 8-12 with proportional age demographic breakdown between adults 18-64, with 51.9% women and 48.1% men.