“Alexa, I have a headache” – over 60% of respondents to a recent survey said that were worried about Amazon having access to their personal medical information. The study, conducted by leading speech technology company Intelligent Voice, came after NHS England announced a partnership with Amazon to deliver health advice via the company’s smart speaker platform.
Interestingly, the results of the survey show a dramatic variance in concern depending on age, with only 40% of 18-24 year olds concerned about Amazon having access to their private medical information vs 75% of over 65 year olds.
Nigel Cannings, CTO and co-Founder of Intelligent Voice Ltd says:
“Voice can be a really effective tool, but there is not enough being done in regards to privacy. Too many users have fallen for the ‘magic pipe fallacy’, believing their data is secure end-to-end. A lack of real understanding in what happens to data could cause trouble.
I found the variation in concern within age groups really interesting. I honestly expected a higher level of concern overall in regards to privacy, particularly with the implementation and subsequent press around GPDR and the stories we have read about Amazon and Google employees listening into ‘private’ recordings from their users.”
By 2020, it is expected that half of all searches are expected to be made through voice-assisted technology. But will the security and privacy of these Voice searches have been increased to the same standard? While edge technologies do exist to allow users to communicate from a home device to websites as securely as from a web browser, it is not always in the interests of voice assistant providers to give up their access to users’ data and habits.