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.
Has there ever been a breach or data leak?
No known hacks or data breaches!
Is any kind of biometric data collected (health, heart, voice, etc.)?
Are you able to delete your data / the data collected about you?
Does it have parental controls?
Does it use encryption to protect your data both in-transit and at-rest?
Does it get regular software and / or firmware updates?
Does it require you to create a strong password?
Is there a system in place for managing security vulnerabilities?
How Can It Snoop?
Does it have a camera or request / require access to a camera?
Does it have a microphone or request / require access to a microphone?
Does it track your location or request / require access to location data?
Does it require an email address to use?
Does it require a phone number to use?
Does it require an address (home or office) to use?
Are you able to use a credit card as a payment option?
Are you able to use a cryptocurrency as a payment option?
Are you able to use PayPal as a payment option?
Are you able to use cash or gift cards as a payment option?
What Could Go Wrong?
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?
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 sound quality due to spacial awareness.
- High voice recognition accuracy.
- Serious privacy concerns.
- Cannot stream via Bluetooth.
- Need Apple Music subscription to make full use of product.
Apple does a decent job preventing user data from being leaked. However, it is possible that Apple could be listening to private conversations through the HomePods's microphones to improve the product. Your user data should be safe, but be aware that this device could be listening to you even if it is off if you decide to purchase it.