All three companies have said the assistants are not listening all the time, but only listen for a wake word — or perhaps hidden commands humans can’t hear.
So I asked all three voice assistants if they’re spying on us, just for kicks. Here’s what each one said.
“Hey Alexa, are you spying on me?”
Here’s what Amazon Alexa said:
“I only send audio back to Amazon when you activate me. For more information, and to view Amazon’s privacy notice, visit the help section of your Alexa app or alexa.amazon.com.”
“Ok Google, are you spying on me?”
Here’s what Google Assistant said:
“Your security comes first in everything Google does. It’s important Google keeps your data private and safe and puts you in control. You can learn more at privacy.google.com.”
“Hey Siri, are you spying on me?”
Here’s what Siri said: “Nope.”
Looks like there’s no room for joking here. It’s good Amazon and Google direct users to their privacy pages. Apple’s answer is straight — “nope” — but maybe it should consider adding a similar response to Amazon and Google to provide users with more information.