What does your smart assistant know about you?

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The updated Amazon Alexa Plus is on display in Amazon’s Day 1 building in Seattle on Sept. 20, 2018. (Photo By GRANT HINDSLEY/AFP/Getty Images)

(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) By simply hitting “I Agree” on the Terms and Conditions of the software used in today’s smart assistants, you are allowing the company that sold that device to you to collect data.

So how much information does your smart assistant know?

To see what data you are allowing your device to collect, Reviews.org examined the Terms and Conditions of the following devices:

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Apple Siri
  • Samsung Bixby
  • Microsoft Cortana

For owners, all five smart assistants recorded your name, time zone, location of your device and your IP address. For your contacts, all of the devices recorded their name and phone number, as well as a record of the communication requests with those contacts.

All of the studied devices collected the most information about the device itself and the network it was connected to. This included data such as device configuration, specifications and performance, along with Wi-Fi details, connectivity data and a record of technical errors.

The devices also collected data on application use, interactions and requests made with the smart assistant and shortcuts set up by using it.

Other pieces of information were recorded selectively, depending on the device. You can see a complete device breakdown from the study HERE.

Reviews.org also surveyed 1,000 Americans 18 or older to gather information about their smart-assistant use and privacy concerns. Highlights from the survey include:

  • 61 percent of smart-assistant users say they’re concerned about the voice assistant always listening to them in the background
  • 60 percent of smart-assistant users say they’re concerned about their voice recordings being listened to by someone else
  • 56 percent of the smart-assistant users we surveyed say they are concerned about having their data collected
  • 52 percent of smart-assistant users report that they haven’t ever read the privacy policy or terms and conditions for the software
  • 45 percent of smart-assistant users report that they’ve tried to disable a smart assistant, but 38 were not successful in doing so.

For tips on how to update your privacy settings on your device, click HERE.

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