29 September 2006 | 8,638 views

Google Eavesdropping Software

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This is a little scary, intensely personal ads which to be frank are getting a little invasive as it is..It’s like the part in minority report where the billboards scan your eyes and talk to you using your name and history of purchases.

It looks like it might be happening sooner than we think.

The first thing that came out of our mouths when we heard that Google is working on a system that listens to what’s on your TV playing in the background, and then serves you relevant adverts, was “that’s cool, but dangerous”.

The idea appeared in Technology Review citing Peter Norvig, director of research at Google, who says these ideas will show up eventually in real Google products – sooner rather than later.

The idea is to use the existing PC microphone to listen to whatever is heard in the background, be it music, your phone going off or the TV turned down. The PC then identifies it, using fingerprinting, and then shows you relevant content, whether that’s adverts or search results, or a chat room on the subject.

Being a hacker at heart..I don’t trust ANYONE or ANYTHING when they say it’s secure, it can’t be broken, it’ll be kept away from prying eyes, as well…we all know whatever can be made can be broken one way or another right?

Pretty soon the security industry is going to find a way to hijack the Google feed and use it for full on espionage.

Google says that its fingerprinting technology makes it impossible for the company (or anyone else) to eavesdrop on other sounds in the room, such as personal conversations, because the conversion to a fingerprint is made on the PC, and a fingerprint can’t be reversed, as it’s only an identity.

But we should think that “spyware” might take on an extra meaning if someone less scrupulous decided on a similar piece of software.

Anyone else thinking “Yah right?”.

Source: The Register



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13 Responses to “Google Eavesdropping Software”

  1. John 29 September 2006 at 3:12 pm Permalink

    Your right, its absurd.

  2. Jordan 29 September 2006 at 4:29 pm Permalink

    The question is, will it enable a disabled mic? Also, what plugin is required to actually do it. Conceptually I can see why they want to do it, I do think its misguided however. It will be easy enough to stop though. Just disable or mute your mic when not in use. If they go so far to enable and unmute the mic I think they will have a different type of battle on their hands.

  3. Stevo 29 September 2006 at 4:29 pm Permalink

    That software will never touch a single machine under my command. EVER!!!!!!!!

    When will people learn to not trust these types of movements.

    We have lost enough free will already, all we have left is the net, fight for it…….

  4. Ritec 29 September 2006 at 4:50 pm Permalink

    This sounds a little far fetched but it definetly does not surprise me. Google needs to keep inventing and reinventing new ways of serving ads, its major source of income, in order to keep those $400.00 a share stocks from going down. Google will reach a point where “don’t be evil, their motto, just won’t work anymore.

    Let’s see what the future brings, but it looks dark froim this angle.

  5. hobot 2 October 2006 at 1:45 pm Permalink

    While software might be able to enable the mic under an OS, it will not be able to use my cut-out switch for a long, long time.

  6. SicKn3sS 9 October 2006 at 9:37 pm Permalink

    That’s why my microphone has a mute button :D

  7. iskorpitx 10 October 2006 at 10:44 am Permalink

    Mic is ok but do you have a mute button?

  8. Franco 27 October 2006 at 11:21 am Permalink

    I cannot believe that anyone would allow the intercept of their private audio within their home. You would have to be the number one canidate for a village idiot job.

    With this surveillance technology, your TV, videos, conversations, and intimate sounds will be available for the whole world to hear. I can see the websites popping up to play audio selections according to topic…sex, drugs and politics!

    Google….the Hackers are drooling in anticipation of your software being made available to them. You can’t be serious if you think it can’t be cracked. The Hackers of the world should target Google Execs first. Maybe then they will wake up and smell what they are trying to sell us.

  9. Vakin VonSnizzSnakker 16 December 2006 at 12:36 am Permalink

    This might sound far-fetched and, understandably, many of you are dubious of this spying via microphone but I am certain it is already happening. I, more than once, have gotten junk email (gmail) or an ad in gmail that contained a name or other noun word that I had recently SPOKEN within near proxcimity of my PC. I would dismiss it as co-incidence or assume that I, or someone corressponding with me, had actually included the word in an email and if I went back and searched I’d find that key or target word. I mean, surely, google is not eavesdropping on spoken conversations that transpired in my home…Then I read about their technology to just that very thing (well TV audio, suppossedly not people’s conversation) and I now know that that very thing had happened. One friend of mine had, on his own, said he noticed the same occurence of things he had spoken turning up in a target ad. So that’s two people who noticed this prior to the technology being discussed by google themselves. And this is another really creepy thing. I have, for certain, had target spam/junk emails contain terms or words lifted from text messages on my cell phone. For sure for real. This is such a major invasion of privacy it is almost overwhelming. To arms? To the presses? Or to the pc with it’s convienience and technology to just roll over and give up, give in, take it in the backside and comply like sheep and bury our heads in the sand like an ostrich?

  10. Ishkur 20 December 2006 at 2:12 am Permalink

    hmmmm, that wouldnt really affect me that much for a while. My current comp doesnt have a mic.

  11. msk 21 December 2006 at 2:33 am Permalink

    “The first thing that came out of our mouths when we heard that Google is working on a system that listens to what’s on your TV playing in the background, and then serves you relevant adverts, was “that’s cool, but dangerous”.”

    Thats not cool at all, thats just f***ed up. I am suprised they would even be talking about doing something that is so invasive. The fact that they are apparently seriously considering this makes me wonder what else they are planning on.

    in response to Vakin VonSnizzSnakker somebody should do a test and see if that is true.

  12. IntrusiveGod 18 April 2008 at 6:51 am Permalink

    It’s ok, there’s probably a portion there for privacy settings or customization of both end users. When will they release it for public?

  13. zupakomputer 18 April 2008 at 4:14 pm Permalink

    Spoken? They (in general) do that with your thoughts already. It’s called fake-synchronicity-manufacturing.

    And the saddest part is that they actually think they are serving you and you somehow want that in your life. Er no I don’t, I want things to go back to how they were a bit more, like when jobs existed and I had the money to buy those products you think I want that I’m not actually interested in. Back when the universe did serve me up a lot more of what I had in fact ‘ordered’, mainly because you weren’t there getting in the way with that psi-spying.