People, Privacy, & Policies: A Deep Dive Into Voice Assistants & Privacy

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Zi Siang Peter Lim
  • Jes Rydall Larsen
4. semester, Master of Science (MSc) in Cyber Security (Master Programme)
In this day and age, voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant have become a stable part of smartphones and other "smart" devices. Before one can use these devices one must give consent, and is often met with a privacy policy, clarifying what kind of information the voice assistant collect and processes. Previous research has shown that voice assistants possess privacy risks due to sensitive data that can be obtained from voice data: like gender and disabilities.
In our work, we take a deep dive into the four biggest brands of voice assistants and their privacy policies. To further the understanding of consumer privacy regarding voice assistants, we have performed qualitative interviews with four participants in the age range of 15-17 and four participants aged 60+. The purpose was also to evaluate the transparency of the privacy policies. We also test and create a microphone jammer based on existing designs to protect user privacy. In the end, we conclude based on our analysis of the different policies and the interviews, various shortcomings of the privacy policy environment. A solution to the problem of lack of transparency is also given, with us advocating for more standardized privacy policies with the addition of generalized privacy tables that showcases in a transparent and comparable manner the purpose of the data collection, and what information is collected.
Publication date2 Jun 2022
Number of pages270
ID: 471794904