Google Chromecast with Google TV
Review date: Nov. 8, 2021
"Hey Google!" That will become your new favorite saying if you go the route of Chromecast with Google TV. This little dongle lets you stream what you're watching or listening to on your phone or tablet to your TV. And Google TV puts all the content from all your streaming services on the screen in one place. Just say, "Hey Google, show me rom coms," and all the rom coms from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more will appear on screen. Nifty.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
Google seems to do a better job than some of the other Big Tech companies when it comes to privacy (looking at you Facebook). That said, you should be aware they are a huge ad company that needs your data to sell ads. Google promises that your voice recordings won’t be used to send you personalized ads, but they admit transcripts of your voice interactions with your Google Assistant to control your Chromecast with Google TV may. So, when you say, “Hey Google, show me the football game,’ Google might assume you’re a sports fan and recommend you lots of other sports to watch, while also trying to sell you a jersey for the team you watch most. Google uses your personal information to show you ads all over the place like in your Gmail, in your favorite Solitaire app, on partner websites, and on YouTube. Yup, the ads are everywhere.
We do like that users are now automatically opted out of Google's human review of voice recordings, because that was super creepy. We also like that Google does try to communicate with users how they collect and use data in their Safety Center. Google does collect a lot of data on you, especially if you don't take the time to adjust your privacy settings to lock down just how much info they can gather. You should absolutely take the time to adjust these privacy settings. Just beware, you will get notifications that some things might not work right if you change settings. That’s annoying, and probably worth it for a little more privacy. If you don't take the time, it's possible Google can get to know you really well, maybe too well. Google knows that you like to watch sappy rom coms at certain times each month and starts treating you with ads for chocolate and wine and you fall into a rut of watching movies and eating chocolate and drinking wine and, you know what, that doesn't sound so bad. Maybe it's OK Google knows you so well. Maybe it's creepy?
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
Name, email, phone number
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
In August 2019, the company admitted that partners who work to analyze voice snippets from the Assistant leaked the voice snippets of some Dutch users. More than 1,000 private conversations were sent to a Belgian news outlet, some of the messages reportedly revealed sensitive information such as medical conditions and customer addresses.
In December 2018, a bug exposed the data of 52.5 million Google+ users
Can this product be used offline?
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Uses encryption in transit and at rest.
Google has a Security Rewards program, which means that anyone who finds a security issue and discloses it responsibly may get paid.
Google has several privacy pages explaining its approach to privacy in simple language.
Is this AI untrustworthy?
What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?
Google uses natural language processing to understand you and to generate answers to your requests.
Is the company transparent about how the AI works?
Does the user have control over the AI features?
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