Eavesdropping Toys Send What They Hear To A Defense Contractor

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by HardOCP News, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. HardOCP News

    HardOCP News [H] News

    Messages:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 1969
    Holy crap! I can't believe this is actually a thing! This sounds like something that you would read on a conspiracy theory website or the plot to a bad TV movie of the week. :eek:

    That rule says, among other things, that companies gathering children’s data have to provide notice to, and obtain consent from, parents about their privacy practices; that they have to permit parents access to review their kids’ data or have it deleted; and that they need to give parents the option of letting their kids’ data be used internally but not shared with third parties. And those are things that Genesis and Nuance are not doing, the complaint alleges. The researchers were also able to use free apps in order to turn both the doll and the robot into recording devices, and were able to use the toys as a two-way handset by calling the phone to which they were connected. “This is very easy and requires little technical know-how,” the researchers added.
     
  2. Nobified[H]

    Nobified[H] [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,096
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Safe thing is to remove all electronic devices and armed up cannons, while wearing tinfoil hats!
     
  3. Gigus Fire

    Gigus Fire 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,275
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    wasn't this done in watchdogs?
     
  4. amddragonpc

    amddragonpc [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,996
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Are we in a communist society now in the United States? WTH.
     
    RaxusCraxurFace likes this.
  5. Taco

    Taco [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,465
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2001
    Well, referring to Nuance as a defense contractor, while technically accurate(after reading the article), paints an inaccurate picture of what was likely going on. They paid Nuance for their voice recognition capabilities(they created and sell Dragon Naturally Speaking), Nuance requires the audio be parsed by their servers and no one stepped in and raised the flag about this being an issue.

    They deserve to be smacked down, but "Toys gaining intel for government" this is not.
     
    WangChung, heatlesssun and lcpiper like this.
  6. Biznatch

    Biznatch 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,224
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009

    This.... How do people not realize what is happening with all these 'voice activated' products? You really think your phone or these shitty little devices have hardware capable of processing audio that quickly? No, everything is sent to a server farm for processing.... Which means everything you say to the device goes to a providers datacenter, where you can only hope (but not verify) they just decode the audio and delete. But with all the secret spying going on, I have zero trouble believing it's being saved/scraped and backdoor access given to federal agencies. Especially little companies like this, who would be swayed more easily by the feds than someone like google/MS/apple (But still believable).
     
  7. Taco

    Taco [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,465
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2001
    It's a child's toy, I don't think a lot of thought is put into it when they are purchased and I'm sure most parents are not technically adept enough for such things to even occur to them. Which is all the more reason the manufacturer needs to be up front about it or not do voice recognition at all.
     
  8. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,541
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008

    Jesus Steve, how many times have I told people in the drone threads that the big data guys plan to use retail drones as sensor platforms for big data? I am sure of at least 3 times and not once has anyone come back and asked me what I am talking about.
     
  9. Teenyman45

    Teenyman45 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,328
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    The people who already know, know and the rest generally refuse to listen. I asked my parents if they are concerned about having an Amazon Echo in the bedroom.
     
    lcpiper likes this.
  10. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Messages:
    13,694
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Private company does schwarmy illegal things, yup this guy understands what communism is!
     
  11. Dullard

    Dullard 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,710
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    [​IMG]

    Those things, and other similar devices, look tailor made for covert eavesdropping. I remember the hubub when it was disclosed that some Samsung smart TVs could listen in on you, now people buy connected devices designed to listen in on you.
     
    heatlesssun likes this.
  12. lilbabycat

    lilbabycat 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,810
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    And if it just so happens that XYZ government agency has access to Nuance's database...and if they have the data of which devices use Nuance's servers, and they have purchase information from a person of interest (they do, thanks NSA), then they have another tool to use for eavesdropping on people.

    Talk about a couple dozen, hundred different little companies with servers like this and all of a sudden you have a very far reaching network of information to pull from for your spying.
     
  13. Taco

    Taco [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,465
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2001
    I get that it's a technical possibility and worthy of a more over arching discussion, but again the Nancy Grace'ish "Toys spying on our children!" flavor of this is just not accurate and does not do justice to what could be a legitimate discussion.
     
    lcpiper and WangChung like this.
  14. lironmiron

    lironmiron Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    260
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2016
    In general yes, but when the company is a defense contractor, it starts looking more like the government is outsourcing schwarmy illegal things than like the company is interested in the data for their own use.

    It's like when a corporation hires a contractor who offers bribes to foreign officials; the corporation still legally responsible for that bribe under US law.
     
  15. Greyryder

    Greyryder Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    453
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2001
    Wasn't this an episode of CSI: Cyber? Only, those toys weren't for kids.
     
  16. Mugato

    Mugato Muh Feelz!

    Messages:
    933
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    I am SO worried about Amazon using drones for delivery it's not even funny. Every single drone will have a camera and GPS. Smile, your on camera! And we know exactly where you are at! In realtime!

    I have a Nuance product (pdf suite), it also has a cloud connector extension (uninstalled, but is it really uninstalled?) which I will be monitoring closely...
     
  17. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Messages:
    13,694
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Eh... still a bit flimsy. I mean it's not like defense contractors sell only to the government where their headquarters are stationed.

    Besides it could very well be something like GE where they own a little bit of everything, as it is this technology needs to "phone home" to get some "interaction" with kids, perhaps that one company simply is the owner of the cloud who got the contract.
     
  18. AK0tA

    AK0tA Gawd

    Messages:
    813
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    I have bought into the home spying deal 100%. I have a selfie drone, voice activated toilet, video monitoring refrigerator, amazon echo's all over. I hope that while they are reviewing my data they realize my awesome talent's and I get chosen for Big Brother, Survivor or some other amazing show.
     
  19. w1retap

    w1retap [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    11,947
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    CNN: Children's Toys Are Not Sending Information to Defense Contractors, Pizzagate Conspiracy Theorists to Blame
     
  20. WangChung

    WangChung Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    181
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    I'd credit Nuance for selling Dragon, but not for creating it. That's a whole other interesting story about Goldman Sachs screwing over people (as usual).
     
  21. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,541
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Are they eavesdropping on a legitimate intelligence target or not, because they do have a job to do and it does require gathering intelligence on intelligence targets.

    I mean, unless you have a solid reason to believe they are collecting on US Persons without a warrant, then hello.
     
  22. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,541
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008

    Usually the corporation is offering the bribes for their own purposes and not as a proxy for the government no matter how much people want to think this is some legit work around.
     
  23. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,541
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Exactly.

    The President of 3D Robotics was speaking about how imagery from drones helped a big data application where they were able to measure forestation in a region where no other data had been collected, and they could see changes in that forestation much easier and closer to real time than the alternatives, and much much cheaper.
     
  24. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,110
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2005
    But they put cameras in your cable box!!!!!!!1111!

     
  25. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,541
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008

    Because that isn't the IR receiver lens for the remote control ?


    Or were you just being sly?
     
  26. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,110
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2005

    The !'s say no, but the 1's say yes
     
    lcpiper likes this.
  27. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,541
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    My world is hard. The laws, the rules, the work.

    Sometimes I am too literal and need someone to poke me and wake me up. Remind me to have fun, Thank You.