Google, the giant search engine has secretly installed a shady of “eavesdropping tool” which is capable of listening to any conversation that is held in front of a computer. All the Open source developers and privacy campaigners are raising concerns over this secret attempt of Google. Google has developed the Chromium browser as an open source basis of Google Chrome. Actually, the tool was designed in order to support Chrome’s new “OK, Google” functionality, but it began to install audio-snooping code remotely Spy Checker – Internet Tricks which is potentially capable of listening to the conversation who are near to the computer without their permission.
Google installed Eavesdropping tool
How does Eavesdropping happens?
The feature is installed automatically by default as part of Google’s Chrome browser. Whenever you download Google’s Open Source Chromium browser, it will download something and in turn asks you about the status report that says “Microphone: Yes” followed by “Audio Capture Allowed: Yes”. Automatically, eavesdropping tool gets activated and all your conversations will be snooped without your consent.
Some of the users who have already installed the Chromium browser experienced eavesdropping and claimed that it is activated on computers without their permission. Chromium, the open source basis for Google’s browser displays the code and lets user to notice it and turn it off. But, the same installation is incorporated by default in the most widespread browser Chrome that is being used by over 300 million people.
Rick Falkvinge, the Founder of Swedish Pirate Party published on the website Privacy Online News said in a blog post as, “Without consent, Google’s code had downloaded a black box of code that – according to itself – had turned on the microphone and was actively listening to your room.”
Truly, the code was designed to enable the new “OK, Google” hot word detection, that lets the computer do things like search or create reminders in retort to human vocal sound. However, some users are still bothered about the service that it could be activated without their consent, ultimately sending recorded data to Google. The worried users termed the Chrome Hotword Shared Module as an audio-snooping “black box” of code.
“Which means that your computer had been stealth configured to send what was being said in your room to somebody else, to a private company in another country, without your consent or knowledge, an audio transmission triggered by … an unknown and unverifiable set of conditions?” “We don’t know and can’t know what this black box does,” Falkvinge added.
Google Response Towards User’s Complaints
Google responded to the user’s complaints via its developer boards. It said: “While we do download the hotword module on startup, we do not activate it unless you opt in to hotwording.” They also highlighted the fact that “Chromium is not a Google product. We do not directly distribute it, or make any guarantees with respect to compliance with various open source policies”. But, the reports from the Open source developers and privacy campaigners seems to be different.
Chromium is Regarded as Culprit
After identifying that the Open Source Chromium is a culprit, the developer Ofer Zelig said in a blog post: “While I was working I thought ‘I’m noticing that an LED goes on and off, on the corner of my eyesight [webcam]’. And after a few times when it just seemed weird, I sat to watch for it and saw it happening. Every few seconds or so.”
How to avoid Eavesdropping on your Computer?
At the time of installation, you will be asked to opt in and opt out. You need to select opt out which is a reasonable solution in order to avoid eavesdropping.
The other reliable measure against this mass surveillance is to disable your microphone and camera on the computer/
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manually using a hardware switch.
You’ll get into trouble only if you choose opt in at the time of installation. Otherwise, everything would be fine and hence your conversations will not be snooped automatically.
“We’re sure you’ll be relieved to learn we’re not listening to your conversations – nor do we want to. We’re simply giving Chrome users the ability to search hands free at their computers by saying “OK Google” while on the Google homepage – and only if they choose to opt in to the feature:” a Spokeswoman said from Google.