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What have I done?

I was away from my desk today and I needed to make a note to do something and I pulled out my phone and I was like, “Damn, I cannot be bothered to type this on that teeny screen keyboard with my thumbs.” So I turned on Google Assistant.

It’s like Alexa for your phone, but instead of patching you into the evil Amazon it patches you into the evil Google. Much better. It’s also a really terrific speech-to-text app.

You say “Hey, Google” to wake it up, then “open sticky notes” and “send out a meeting reminder tomorrow” and done. Neat!

Pretty low privacy risk, I thought. I’ll only use it for work stuff and I don’t take my phone everywhere. And then I was poking around the web looking for more fun things I could do with it, and I found this:

Gboard voice API hàs a voice recognition learning processor. The more you use it the better it becomes with that users voice. Unfortunately if you ever clear your cache in Chrome or in Gboard, it takes away some of it’s learned recognized voice commands that has built up in your device memory. But from Googles main CPU that’s connect to your account with recognize voices, it will continue to expand even after you’ve clear your cache on your device because it’s connected to your account. But I’m not sure what Google does with that information if the account is deleted but if I know Google like I think I know Google it will connect the dots if that voice ever gets connected to other account.

And then it occurred to me that from now until the end of time, if I speak in the presence of a Google-enabled device, it will clock who I am and where I am, sure as fingerprints. How could I be so stupid?

But then I thought…Pff! Like they didn’t already have my voice print. And yours and everyone else’s. Yay!

Still, you can ask Google Assistant to tell a Yo Mama joke if you’re feeling blue.


Comment from Anonymous
Time: December 2, 2021, 8:35 pm

Sooooo. Let’s say that the government intercepts a phone call “of interest” – say, someone talking about the opposition party’s proposed foreign policy a month before the election. But who was it? Further the call was made from “a pay phone” et al to a “burner phone” et al. How could we ever find those people.

Surely no one could or would go to a secret judge for a secret warrant to search all of Google’s (and/or Amazon’s) voice print files to match up the voices on the phone call to specific individuals. Although it would as simple as searching the FBI files for fingerprints or using Shazam to identify a piece of music, it would be wrong.

And even if all that did happen by mere coincidence, what’s the worst that could happen?

Cough Seth Rich Cough

Comment from Anonymous
Time: December 2, 2021, 8:37 pm

I thought posting that as “Anonymous” was a nice touch, even if it’s really a waste of time….

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: December 2, 2021, 8:48 pm

Warrant? Judge? Search Google? I have a nasty feeling that they are all linked, all of the time. It doesn’t even take the push of a button or the throw of a switch.

Paranoid? Moi?

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: December 2, 2021, 9:34 pm

Apropos of nothing, would anyone like to watch the live Badger Cam?

He doesn’t even know it’s on!


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: December 2, 2021, 10:38 pm

Thank you, Some Veg!

Comment from gebrauschund
Time: December 3, 2021, 3:26 am

Can it tell a “deez nutz” joke?

For when you’re feeling suicidal and you just need that last little push.

Comment from Tom
Time: December 3, 2021, 10:39 am


I know what you were going for but I thought this might be a slight improvement considering ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’ …

BANG! Seth Rich BANG!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 3, 2021, 3:27 pm

As expected, the “yo mama” joke was vanilla and lame, but not as vanilla and lame as the “dirty joke”.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: December 5, 2021, 6:50 pm

What’s so bad about Google? They don’t do evil, so what’s the big deal? Some people are so cynical.

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