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[SECURITY ALERT] Google puts their foot in it

Discussion in 'Bits & Bytes' started by Biker, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    And we're not talking about sticking a toe in to test the waters. They've jumped straight into the deep end and are attempting to blow it off as something that's no big thing.

    First, we have this tantalizing bit from Distrowatch: DistroWatch.com: Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD.

    Say WHAT?!

    First.. What is hotword? This is a voice activated extension that automatically has access to your microphone and is active upon installation. Say OK Google, and the extension turns itself on for voice commands for search.

    Now, on the surface, this sounds kinda slick, right? However, the user has absolutely no choice in the matter. Once Chrome (or Chromium for Linux users) is installed, the browser automatically downloaded the blob and activates it. THAT is inexcusable. Especially for something that has access to your microphone.

    So, what did Google do? Check it out.

    Issue 491435 - chromium - Opt-out Chrome Hotword Shared Module - An open-source project to help move the web forward. - Google Project Hosting

    When the heat got too high, they closed the bug for further commenting.

    Chrome still has it. Chromium will have the ability to ignore it at compile time. In other words, hopefully the package maintainers for all the various repos are aware of this issue and don't do a straightforward compile for their distribution. But for those of you that are totally into Chrome, be aware, your browser is listening to you.
     
  2. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

  3. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

  4. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    We always thought that "Big Brother" would be the government. Who ever knew it would be Google?

    I'm a Debian user (on my desktop) but I'd rather lick the inside of my trash can or toilet than install anything that came from Google.
     

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