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Topic: Google Crome installs stealth audio listeners? (Read 203 times)

  • krake
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Google Crome installs stealth audio listeners?
GOOGLE CHROME INSTALLS STEALTH AUDIO LISTENERS ?

The above article I did stumble over now is almost 1 year old. Nevertheless it was something new to me.
"Open Source" made by Google. :)
I've never used myself Chromium or other derivates based on Blink.
Anybody who can confirm, deny or tell more about the subject?
  • Last Edit: 2016-04-24, 11:47:37 by Frenzie

  • ersi
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Re: GOOGLE CHROME INSTALLS STEALTH AUDIO LISTENERS ?
Reply #1
Didn't we have some rule against all-cap headings?

On topic, I think that reverse engineering is always a good thing. And open source is good because it shows that the product is not ashamed of being reverse engineered.

Chrome or Android are not open source. They are based on code that was originally open source, but the alterations made by Google corporation are not public. Open source means no undisclosed blobs whatsoever.

  • Frenzie
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  • Administrator
Re: GOOGLE CHROME INSTALLS STEALTH AUDIO LISTENERS ?
Reply #2
Yes, it's rule #7.

Quote from: Rule 7
Do not use capitals only in thread titles (excepting acronyms) or in the post; it is widely taken as shouting, and rude.

On topic, I do recall some vulnerabilities as well as the spying business and the "feature" being dropped.

  • ersi
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Re: Google Crome installs stealth audio listeners?
Reply #3
Ah, so it's that "OK Google" thing. It's still prominently there in my Android 5 interface though. It's supposed to launch the search engine. I never planned to talk to my phone. Still not in plans.

Another thing, a recent update to Google Maps app in Android does nothing but bug me to enable the location. It has no "never ask this again" checkmark...

  • Frenzie
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  • Administrator
Re: Google Crome installs stealth audio listeners?
Reply #4
On my phone you have to start the search thingy before you can say "OK Google". I think you can set it to listen at all times, though. That's not dissimilar to how it worked in Chrome(ium) for desktop.

Similarly, Google developers explained that the page showing that the Hotword extension was enabled was being misinterpreted. Enabled in this context does not mean "loaded" or "listening"; it just means "not disabled." The extension isn't actually active unless the "OK Google" feature is turned on. This can be verified in Chrome's own task manager: it lists each loaded extension, and by default the one for Hotwords isn't loaded.

  • ersi
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Re: Google Crome installs stealth audio listeners?
Reply #5
On my phone you have to start the search thingy before you can say "OK Google".
Now, this is an important detail. This is not so in my smartphone. In my phone, when voice input is enabled,[1] you can additionally enable "OK Google". Supposedly, when you say it, the search app would activate itself and search for whatever you say next.

The only good thing about this "OK Google" thing was that it asked me when I first switched on the phone, notifying me about its existence. Probably in this year's models it's not asking or telling anymore. It Just WorksTM
The funny thing is, it cannot be disabled. All you can do is switch the voice input language away from English. In Android 2, voice input had to be specifically enabled in order to start functioning.
  • Last Edit: 2016-04-24, 14:52:05 by ersi