Apple might actually care about privacy

Everybody is complaining that Siri doesn’t do enough in the new HomePod. This week there is yet another story about a “smart speaker” invading the privacy of the people who bought it. An Amazon Echo recorded a couple’s private conversation in their home and sent it to the boss of one of them!

There was a prior story about a Google home device literally recording everything said in somebody’s home and sending it to Google’s servers. In both cases, the companies apologized, but it seems that they have put so many features into their devices with little to no thought of their users’ privacy.

So, perhaps there is a good reason that the Home Pod doesn’t do everything the Amazon Echo or Google Home speaker can. Perhaps Apple would prefer to deal with negative reviews of a “dumb” smart speaker rather than give a device that can hear everything going on in your home too much power to invade or violate your privacy “unintentionally” or otherwise.

Wasted Effort

The Google Duplex “demo” which may have been faked, or at least edited and staged, made me sad for another reason. Some of the greatest engineers in the world are wasting human capital doing things like maximizing advertising sales and saving people from having to call each other to make hair appointments.