Facebook to Delay Smart Speaker Unveiling Amid User Data Scandal

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facebookappFacebook has chosen not to unveil its latest smart connected devices at the company's F8 developer conference in May, in part because of the ongoing data-privacy scandal that has engulfed the social network, according to people familiar with the matter.

Bloomberg reports that Facebook's new home products, which include a video-capable smart speaker featuring the company's own digital assistant, are now being held back from public view, pending a deeper review into the devices' processing of user data. Although the hardware wasn't expected to launch until the fall, Facebook had planned to preview the devices at its annual developer summit, according to the paper's sources.

The devices are part of Facebook's plan to become more intimately involved with users' everyday social lives, using artificial intelligence -- following a path forged by Amazon.com Inc. and its Echo in-home smart speakers. As concerns escalate about Facebook’s collection and use of personal data, now may be the wrong time to ask consumers to trust it with even more information by placing a connected device in their homes. A Facebook spokeswoman declined to comment.

In the last few weeks, Facebook has come under increasing scrutiny over its user data practices, after reports emerged that political advertising firm Cambridge Analytica procured information on 50 million social network users without seeking permission.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify in front of Congress on privacy in the coming weeks, but the chief executive has so far refused a British request to appear before a parliamentary committee and answer questions about the social network's involvement in data misuse.

Top Rated Comments

MLVC Avatar
37 months ago

Facebook should not be blamed much because everyone who uploading their private information to internet shares blames as well. Uploading any private and personal pictures or personal information to internet exposes any personal information and pictures “voluntarily” to public, which is not smart. Thus, I have no no empathy to those who exposes their personal information in internet voluntarily gets issues. Internet is not a private place. Fortunate for me and those who do not voluntarily upload any personal information and personal pictures to internet voluntarily and who protect our personal information from public knowledge.

Yet also information from people who do not use FB, but are friends with people who do, is exposed. So even if you act all smug that you do not voluntarily upload anything, somebody you know might and your info might already be out there for the world to see/buy.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WBRacing Avatar
37 months ago
Indefinitely, I'd recommend.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
haruhiko Avatar
37 months ago
:eek: Facebook smart speaker... are you kidding? o_O
Not even the Nazi overlord could hear your every whisper at home, and now every major tech company can do it.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ginkobiloba Avatar
37 months ago
Facebook +" smart speaker".
The simple fact that such thing could exist and that there are people who are ready to buy it blows my mind.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sunapple Avatar
37 months ago
Already deleted my Facebook account. I'm freeee!!

*crawls back into the Apple ecosystem*
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Localcelebrity Avatar
37 months ago
I find it hilarious that a company people already found untrustworthy was even considering doing this. It’s hilariously absurd.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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