Reviewed September 29th, 2020
product
privacy guide
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Apple Inc. 🔗
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Apple HomePod

Apple Inc.
2/10

Summary

The HomePod is a smart speaker that uses spatial awareness to deliver the best audio regardless of its location in a room. It can be operated by voice or with the button on the top of the device. It also includes six built in smart microphones, however, Apple claims that the HomePod does not send any information to their servers except when it is being spoken to. It can be purchased for $299.

Privacy Checklist

Does it meet our minimum privacy standards?

Is any kind of biometric data collected (health, heart, voice, etc.)?

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Are you able to delete your data / the data collected about you?

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Does it use cookies, telemetry, or third-party tracking scripts?

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Is the privacy policy user-friendly (easy to understand)?

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Does it have parental controls?

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Does it use encryption to protect your data both in-transit and at-rest?

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Does it get regular software and / or firmware updates?

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Does it require you to create a strong password?

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Is there a system in place for managing security vulnerabilities?

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Does it have a privacy policy?

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How Can It Snoop?

What sensitive hardware access requirements does it have?

Does it have a camera or request / require access to a camera?

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Does it have a microphone or request / require access to a microphone?

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Does it track your location or request / require access to location data?

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Account Requirements

What information is required to create an account or use it?

Does it require an email address to use?

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Does it require a phone number to use?

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Does it require an address (home or office) to use?

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Payment Options

What payment methods are available?

Are you able to use a credit card as a payment option?

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Are you able to use a cryptocurrency as a payment option?

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Are you able to use PayPal as a payment option?

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Are you able to use cash or gift cards as a payment option?

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What Could Go Wrong?

What's the worst case scenario for your data?

Apple claims any data sent to their servers is encrypted, anonymously sent, and automatically deleted after 6 months. However, Apple was recently called out when it was revealed that contractors with the company were listening to intimate conversations to improve the Siri voice assistant. Keep in mind you will be bringing six quality microphones that are always listening into your home should you choose to purchase this product.

How Does It Share Your Data?

Where is your data going? Who has access to it?

When a user says "Hey Siri,", the HomePod encrypts that data and sends it anonymously to Apple's servers. This data is auto-deleted after 6 months and not shared with any third parties. Apple claims the device is not listening and does not transmit any information to them otherwise.

Good Things

Why should you use it?

  • Good sound quality due to spacial awareness.
  • High voice recognition accuracy.

Bad Things

What are the downsides?

  • Serious privacy concerns.
  • Cannot stream via Bluetooth.
  • Need Apple Music subscription to make full use of product.
Privacy Policy 🔗
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