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Tech Q&A: Eavesdropping Echo, flammable laptops, switching to Android and more

FOX News

Want to know more about Amazon Echo, the HP laptop battery recall, ransomware, web printing and switching to Android? I have an Amazon Echo. I am really concerned it is listening all the time. Does it have any privacy settings? A: The fact remains that Echo records all of your commands, and the microphone is always active because the device is always listening for a "wake phrase."


Facebook wants your face data--to benefit your privacy, of course

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Should you allow Facebook to access and store your face data? That's a question users will be asking as Facebook rolls out new tools this week to help users better manage their identity using face recognition. Powered by the same technology the tech giant is already using to suggest friends that you may want to tag in photos or videos, Facebook said in a blog post that the new tools will help you prevent someone from impersonating you on the site. The company described the features, which can be activated or deactivated with an on/off switch, in a post on Tuesday. When photos of you are uploaded, even if you aren't friends with the person adding them, Facebook will notify you.


Tech Q&A: What Alexa hears, offline Netflix, fun Facebook features, converting to HEIF and more

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Q: I have an Amazon Echo and I am really concerned that Amazon is listening all the time. Does the Echo have any privacy settings? A: Ever since Echo hit the market, people have wondered how much the little glowing tower hears -- and remembers. Is Echo silently eavesdropping on our conversations, even between "wake phrases"? So far, Echo hasn't caused any mass hysteria, and most people are pretty content with the performance of their virtual assistant.


How to stop your devices from listening to (and saving) everything you say

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With iOS 8, Apple introduced the "Hey Siri" wake phrase, so you can summon Siri without even touching your iPhone. Here's the easiest way to turn off "Hey Siri": Navigate to your iOS device's Settings Siri & Search, then toggle off "Allow Siri When Locked." Google recently released its latest masterpiece, "OK Google," the wake prompt for Google Assistant on Google Home speakers, Android smartphones and the Chrome browser. Here's how to turn off the "OK Google" wake phrase: On Android, go to Settings Google Search & Now Voice and turn "Ok Google" detection off.


iPhone X: Privacy threat?

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During the event, Apple senior vice president of marketing Phil Schiller said that the facial recognition technology can adapt as your face changes. During Tuesday's launch event, Apple's Schiller said that just holding the iPhone X up will not work if it's not properly aligned with a person's face. Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, introduces the iPhone X during a launch event in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 12, 2017. According to The Verge, leaked source code shows the ability to opt out of Face ID, which Apple offered with Touch ID.


drones-become-newest-crime-fighting-tool-for-police.html

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Just one week after the sheriff's department in Cecil County, Md., got its brand new drone up and running, it was asked to investigate a case of stolen construction equipment. So the Cecil County Sheriff sent his Typhoon H Pro to investigate. The sheriff's department in Somerset County, N.J., hopes its drones could help it find missing people. "Years ago, when we had people wander off, we would bring out the rescue department, the fire department, fire department volunteers, K-9 if we had it and we'd search and search and search and never find the person," said Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provensano.


how-artificial-intelligence-could-battle-sexual-harassment-in-workplace.html

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This could happen as employees increasingly use workplace tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams, send emails using a corporate server or text using company-managed apps. "In the same way, AI can use the data-analysis technology (such as data monitoring) to determine if sexually suggestive communications are being sent." Flores says AI could be seen as a reporting tool to scan messages and determine if an innocuous comment could be misinterpreted. "If we had the AI super-nanny that could monitor speech and gesture, action and emails in the workplace, scanning tirelessly for infractions and harassment it would inevitably exchange a sexual-harassment free workplace for an oppressive work environment," he adds.


Now Siri sounds like a dude

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Apple's approach protects privacy, but might make the service less useful when switching devices. The Siri updates are expected in September with iOS 11, the next version of Apple's mobile Other features coming to iPhones and iPads include messages syncing in the cloud. Apple is also bringing the ability to pay back a friend or other individual through its payment service, Apple Pay. The free software update for mobile devices, iOS 11, is expected in September when Apple typically releases new iPhones.


Top Amazon Echo tips

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If you own an Amazon Echo, you probably know its strange secret: The device records a lot of what you say. Deep inside that dark tower, Echo keeps a vast trove of recordings. Your friends' voices are preserved. Anyone who has ever been to your house and said, "Alexa!" On the upside, this amazing technology puts instant information a voice command away.


Oklahoma lawmaker wants to protect people who destroy drones flying on their property

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Trespassing drones are becoming such a problem, says one Oklahoma lawmaker, that he wants people to be able to shoot them down without facing civil liability. State Sen. Ralph Shortey, a Republican who represents the Oklahoma City area, authored a bill that exempts people from lawsuits if they damage drones that veer onto their property, according to multiple reports. The lawmaker's measure unanimously passed out of the state Senate Judiciary Committee in late February and is headed for a full vote in the upper chamber sometime this month, according to ABC-TV affiliate KTUL.com The measure applies to drones that are not under Federal Aviation Administration regulation. "There (are) privacy issues that have not been addressed by any of the FAA regulations or state law," Shortey was quoted by KTUL as saying.