New Study: What You Say to Google Assistant and Alexa (but Not Siri) Gets Used for Ad Targeting. Here’s How.

A new study from Northeastern University in Boston found that voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant use your voice interactions to draw conclusions about you.

Based on what you say to the devices, Google infers things like your marital status and homeowner status, while Amazon notes products you may be interested in. Read the full story, and learn ways in which you can protect yourself from ad targeting. 

Illustration: Chris Griggs/Consumer Reports, Getty Images

UPDATE as of October 24, 2023: For a deeper dive into the smart speaker ecosystem, read recently awarded best paper at the IMC 2023 conference, “Tracking, Profiling, and Ad Targeting in the Alexa Echo Smart Speaker Ecosystem” authored by Umar Iqbal, Pouneh Nikkhah Bahrami, Rahmadi Trimananda, Hao Cui, Alexander Gamero-Garrido, Daniel Dubois, David Choffnes, Athina Markopoulou, Franziska Roesner and Zubair Shafiq. 

Get the latest on Innovation at Consumer Reports

Sign up to stay informed

We care about the protection of your data. Read our Privacy Policy