2 min read

ICYMI: Oct 19 - Oct 25

ICYMI: Oct 19 - Oct 25

ICYMI is posted every Monday recapping privacy news over the last week from around the web.

Yeah, I'm a day late and a dollar short but I'm still here and that's what counts.

Google Nest hacker finds evidence of Google considering getting rid of 'Hey Google' hot words

In his , Boromeusz shows the on his Google Nest Hub Max, which includes an option called "Dogfood"—a mode not normally available to users of the Max. He reveals that the option allows him to bring up other menus related to "Blue Steel," which is also unavailable to the general user. He demonstrates that by setting this option to "on," his Nest Hub ceases requiring him to say "Hey, Google" before making commands or queries.

To operate his , he simply says what he wants and the device responds. He notes in the comments section that the device detects his presence and uses that as a prompt to activate. It is not known which sensors the device is using to detect Boromeusz's presence, but the list is rather short. The Nest Max comes equipped with a , but it also has ultrasound sensing technology; thus, either could detect the user's presence. In either case, the responds accordingly—going into the background when nothing is detected and then appearing automatically when it detects movement.

This can be easily activated by an OTA update, one in which the user doesn't even know has happened. Nest has been in hot water before regarding privacy concerns.

When you tell Chrome to wipe private data about you, it spares two websites from the purge: Google.com, YouTube

Google exempts its own websites from Chrome's automatic data-scrubbing feature, allowing the ads giant to potentially track you even when you've told it not to.

While this article is new, Google and Chrome have been doing this for years.  If you're still a Chrome user, take a look at Firefox.  If you prefer a Chromium based browser, Vivaldi or Ungoogle Chromium are good options. (Fair warning, Vivaldi has an option for everything and some people find it overwhelming and Ungoogled Chromium doesn't install extensions in the way you're probably used to.

Want to join the discussion?  Check out this post, and others, over at the CupWire subreddit and leave a comment.