Forget arguing with distant relatives and friends on Facebook. Instead, use Facebook’s Portal speaker to argue with distant relatives and friends. And don’t worry, they won’t use the technology to spy on you. So no worries.
Facebook’s smart speaker is on sale. The Portal and Portal+ speaker, which Facebook first revealed last month, are available just in time for the holiday shopping season, the company announced.
Facebook is also, again, trying to head off questions about its privacy policies as they relate to the gadgets, and has offered new assurances that, no, the speakers won’t spy on you.
“Facebook does not listen to, view, or keep the contents of your Portal video calls,” the company writes in a statement. “This means nothing you say on a Portal video call is accessed by Facebook or used for advertising purposes.”
The company adds that video calls use encryption and that its AI-powered “Smart Camera” and “Smart Sound” features run locally, meaning the data they use doesn’t touch Facebook’s servers. Facebook execs also told us last month that privacy was built into “every layer” of the device.
So that sounds pretty definitive, right? Perhaps, but Facebook has clarified that some of what you do on Portal can in fact be used to serve you ads, something that was reported by Recode last month and immediately earned Facebook criticism for not making clear.
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Image credit: Mashable.