Last week, a redditor posted that "When I load the Xiaomi camera in my Google home hub I get stills from other people's homes!!" The post included video of the user's tablet showing stills of strangers in their homes, including some of strangers asleep in their bedrooms.
A few days later, a googler commented in the thread to say that Google was aware of the problem and had blocked all Xiaomi products from accessing Google Home or Google Assistant.
Xiaomi has since issued a statement saying that they had "has always prioritized our users' privacy and information security," and that a Dec 26 update had caused the problem, but only for users with "poor network conditions" (the bug came from a cacheing system). The company says the bug affected 1044 users, and that it has been resolved, but that Xiaomi devices will not get back their Google Assistant and Google Home tools until "the root cause has been completely solved, to ensure that such issues will not happen again."
Some analysts have suggested that adversarial interoperability -- where companies don't get to stop competitors from connecting to their systems -- cannot be reconciled with privacy concerns, because companies need to be able to control their systems to protect our privacy. But in this story -- as in so many others -- we see that allowing big companies like Google to decide who can plug into their systems and under what circumstances is no guarantee that they'll only choose wisely. Google and its competitors are completely capable of thoroughly vetting a partner and greenlighting its integration, even when that partner cannot be trusted.
My MacBook Pro has 4 USB-C ports, only 2 of my peripherals use USB-C. This hub to the rescue. Three standard USB ports and one USB-C power delivery port pretty much covers me. The HDMI port and card readers may come in useful later. I can’t remember the last time I took a CF card […]
Logitech’s MX Keys [Amazon] is what it finally took to lure me away from mechanical keyboards. It’s a slim yet solidly-constructed full-size model that’s similar to and superior to Apple’s Magic Keyboard. It’s flat, minimalist, heavy, solid and low-profile, with large backlit keys typeset in something similar to Futura Light. The keys are square with […]
Microsoft is to shut shop on the high streets and malls of America, permanently closing its 116 retail stores. Only 10 were overseas; flagship stores in New York City, London, Sydney, and Redmond will be remain as showrooms that do not sell the products. There will be no layoffs, Microsoft reports. Alarm bells rang when […]
While we obviously don’t ever want to lose sight of exactly why we’re all wearing face coverings now in the first place, it’s also impossible to ignore that masks have already started to evolve in the public consciousness. The mask started as simply a means of combating infection. Then, it became an avenue of free […]
With all the website builders on the market, it can feel overwhelming to choose the best one for your needs. The most important things to look for are usability, flexibility and a professional look and feel. That’s why over 180 million people use Wix to create the website of their dreams. Here are the top […]
We all know vital information about ourselves and our private digital accounts can be compromised by cybercriminals. However, many would be frightened to know just how compromised they and their vital data are right this moment. Security researchers Digital Shadows say usernames and passwords for more than 15 billion accounts are currently up for purchase […]