‘Hey Alexa, how secure are voice-activated assistants like you?’

NBC News
By Herb Weisbaum

America has fallen in love with smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo and the Google Home — but this cool technology has created new privacy and security vulnerabilities that could potentially expose personal details such as the family’s contact list or bank account information.

About 20 million homes already have a voice-activated assistant, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. The market is dominated by Amazon (73 percent) and Google (27 percent). The Consumer Technology Association projects sales of another 4.4 million units during the holiday season — up 22 percent from last year.

It’s easy to see why these devices are so popular. It’s fun to talk to a computer — just like they do on Star Trek. But Captain Kirk didn’t have to worry about hackers and pranksters. We do.

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