Statistical Analysis shows Echos process voice to serve ads

Statistical Analysis shows Echos process voice to serve ads

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[Submitted on 22 Apr 2022]

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Abstract: Smart speakers collect voice input that can be used to infer sensitive
information about users. Given a number of egregious privacy breaches, there is
a clear unmet need for greater transparency and control over data collection,
sharing, and use by smart speaker platforms as well as third party skills
supported on them. To bridge the gap, we build an auditing framework that
leverages online advertising to measure data collection, its usage, and its
sharing by the smart speaker platforms. We evaluate our framework on the Amazon
smart speaker ecosystem. Our results show that Amazon and third parties
(including advertising and tracking services) collect smart speaker interaction
data; where Amazon shares it with as many as 41 advertising partners. We find
that Amazon processes voice data to infer user interests and uses it to serve
targeted ads on-platform (Echo devices) as well as off-platform (web). Smart
speaker interaction leads to as much as 30X higher ad bids from advertisers.
Finally, we find that Amazon’s and skills’ operational practices are often
inconsistent with their privacy policies

Submission history From: Umar Iqbal [view email]

Fri, 22 Apr 2022 20:21:21 UTC (2,631 KB)

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