I must say that I have always been highly suspicious of smart speakers. | wikipedia

You will have to believe me when I say that I am not (repeat not) a conspiracy theorist of any description. However, on occasions I have been known to ask myself - how on earth did he/she/they know about that? Let me explain myself.

Although when it comes to any type of new(ish) technology I have never been known as the sharpest knife in the draw, nevertheless even I have noticed that if i should happen to ‘like’ something on social media, within a day or so I find that I have become somewhat of a target for anything ranging from a flood of various football club updates to specific adverts about a favourite musical genre to rather vague references regarding unsuitable menswear. Some people would say “fair enough” I suppose, because social media is just that - a vehicle to enable people to exchange ideas and views regarding their lives and interests. Nevertheless, is it not just a little bit creepy that this sort of passive technology is not quite as passive as we might think it is?

Indeed, I read a detailed account in a British national newspaper just recently whereupon the consumer-based investigative magazine Which? claimed that doorbell cameras, smart speakers, TV’s and even washing machines are spying on us at home. As you would expect most of the information gleaned is used to target people with advertising. Nevertheless, the companies who use this methodology are incredibly coy as to the ‘ways-and-means’ of this (it has to be said) totally legal activity. Indeed, as you can imagine all the huge tech companies out there would have a personal, portfolio off sorts - regarding almost all our likes and dislikes and many of our social connections. Now then, this might be okay(ish) if someone is keen to target you as a potential customer and is keen to create a social and economic profile of you - but ahem! - did anyone actually ask for your permission regarding this?

As I mentioned in my opening sentence I will not go down the path of spittle-flecked, nonsensical theories, but you don’t have to be a wild eyed loon to dislike the thought of someone (anyone) tracking your private life at home within your family, do you? However it seems that all the big names in technology are at it I’m afraid. As the article that prompted this piece made plain - “…smart cameras and doorbells also shared information with a company linked to TikTok - Huawei, Google and Meta.” I must say that I have always been highly suspicious of smart speakers - part of that might be because of a general dislike of a woman telling me what to do in life, as I already have one of those at home, thank you very much. So there we have it, the world in which we live is generally spying on each and every one of us in many ways. It seems to me that the only way to avoid this fact is to eschew social media and all its wicked ways, whilst banning all electrical kit-and-equipment… doorbells, washing machines (yes really!) security cameras and especially that sexy sounding minx Alexa. Come on, you know it makes sense!