It's unclear if it has developed the tools internally. NSO's products do not provide the type of collection capabilities and access to cloud applications, services, or infrastructure suggested in this article," the company told CNBC in a statement.
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NSO's lawful interception products are designed to confront this challenge. NSO Group says it has a screening process for clients and only sells to responsible governments for facilitating terrorism or criminal investigations.
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In May, WhatsApp said a flaw in the messenger service could allow NSO Group software to be downloaded to phones through a simple phone call and to monitor calls made through the service. The Facebook-owned application put a patch in place to fix the problem. After the malware is installed on a device, the new capability can copy authentication keys from services including Google Drive, Facebook Messenger and iCloud, according to the FT. A separate server then mimics the device, including its location. In turn, the malware allows for open-ended access to the cloud data of those apps, without triggering additional security layers like "2-step verification or warning email on target device," the FT reported, citing an NSO sales document.
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Microsoft declined to comment on the FT story, but said it has a protection service that can help protect users against these kinds of attacks. A Facebook spokesperson said the company is reviewing the claims in the report. Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC delivered to your inbox. Get this delivered to your inbox, and more info about our products and services.
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Data also provided by. Skip Navigation. Indeed, the future is already here: earlier this year Amazon released dozens of devices, including a smart voice-controlled microwave, plug and wall clock. Certainly, my initial interactions with the Google Home Hub felt unnerving. It was enormously helpful, telling me what meetings I had that day, setting up reminders for me to do things later on and giving me a precis of the news every day, but I still felt monitored. The level of granularity these companies get about how we live our lives by installing devices in our homes gives the manufacturers an unparalleled insight into our habits and our preferences, making it even easier to sell us their products.
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Thomas agrees. There are plenty of people with concerns about the trade-off between unparalleled convenience and a Big Brother-esque scenario in which our every step is monitored and every breath, cough and cry recorded and beamed up into the cloud. However, past examples demonstrated that assistants might record in response to pretty random words. Deschamps-Sonsino and Tien are particularly concerned about the potential for police or government agencies to access data collected from such devices.
Even more revealing are the patents these companies have filed for features they may want to put into their devices in the future. Amazon has been granted a patent to recommend cough sweets and soup to those who cough or sniff while speaking to their Echo. Patents filed by Google dating back to propose integrating the detection of coughing and sneezing into a Home Hub-like device and tailoring its responses to you on that basis.
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Google quickly apologised and fixed the issue, but it did little to quell fears about over-the-top surveillance. The fear about whether or not such devices are actually always on causes some users to relegate their smart speakers to corridors. Is this level of home surveillance desirable?
We have websites we use that are more or less tracked through our online use. Everything is basically tracked.
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Google Home Hub Google have acknowledged the fears users have about allowing cameras in their homes by omitting one from the gadget, ruling out video calls. The built-in Google Assistant will respond to your questions about the weather, restaurants and so on via its screen. It also works as a control centre for smart devices you may have around your home — nearly 5, are compatible.
Amazon Echo Show This second iteration features a 10in screen for streaming video but, at present, video calls are only possible with other Echo Show owners. Mercifully it comes with a handy lens blocker for when having a Facebook camera in your home feels a little spooky.
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The device also has Alexa built in. This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative.