Sonos updates its privacy policy and seemingly hints they’ll begin selling user data

Audio brand Sonos is ruffling the feathers of its user base again after it was discovered the company had made an important update to its private policy. As pointed out by YouTuber and repair technician Louis Rossman, the change affects the “How We May Share Personal Information” section. 

The old policy had a line that read, “Sonos does not and will not sell personal information about our customers.” After that, the rest of the paragraph discussed how certain data practices could be considered as a “sale of data” in certain US states.

Now, if you look at the June 2024 update, the line about Sonos not selling personal data is gone. The rest of the paragraph regarding data practices is exactly the same, though. 

It may be one small change, but it was enough to start a wildfire among the user base. People are not happy at all. Rossman’s video was posted to the Sonos subreddit, and its comment section is a non-stop barrage of people criticizing the brand.

Privacy worries

Users in the post seem to believe the policy change means Sonos will begin selling customer data to third parties. One person argues the brand is alienating its loyal customer base and wants to rebuild its business “with consumers who just don’t care about privacy.” These sentiments are echoed by others, and as you can see, the overall attitude is very cynical.

Interestingly, the line seems to only be gone in the US policy. We checked the Canadian, Spanish, British, and Australian privacy pages and that line about Sonos not selling customer information is still there and is in bold text. 

It’s unknown why only the American policy was changed. A comment we saw online argues that it could be because consumer protection laws in other countries may be more strict than those in the US.

Analysis: benefit of the doubt

You can’t really blame these consumers too much for such a negative reaction. Internet privacy and data collection have been hot topics for many years as people worry about big tech spying on them. It’s a major concern that has proven itself to be legitimate over time. Plus, Sonos users haven’t been too happy with the brand after being burned by a recent app update that removed basic features. 

However, it’s possible that people are just blowing things out of proportion. The removal of the first line doesn’t necessarily mean Sonos is selling customer data to make a quick buck. In fact, this whole situation reminds us a lot of what happened to Adobe.

If you’re not aware, Adobe also changed its Terms of Use policy not too long ago. The policy had text that led users to believe the company would be taking the content they made to train their AI. Adobe has since clarified the wording in the update, assuring their customers that it won’t actually look at or take anything. It was all one big misunderstanding.

We’re going to give Sonos the benefit of the doubt here and assume this is just a misunderstanding and that the policy change was some legal thing they had to do in the US. To learn more, we reached out to Sonos, asking if it could clarify what the change means to its users and we'll update this story if we hear back.

Til then, check out TechRadar's list of the best Bluetooth speakers for 2024.

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Excited about Apple Intelligence? The firm’s exec Craig Federighi certainly is, and has explained why it’ll be a cutting-edge AI for security and privacy

Reactions to Apple Intelligence, which Apple unveiled at WWDC 2024, have ranged from curious to positive to underwhelmed, but whatever your views on the technology itself, a big talking point has been Apple’s emphasis on privacy, in contrast to some companies that have been offering generative AI products for some time. 

Apple is putting privacy front and center with its AI offering and has been keen to talk about how Apple Intelligence – which will be integrated across iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia – would differ from its competitors by adopting a fresh approach to handling user information.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, and the main presenter of the WWDC keynote, has been sharing more details about Apple Intelligence, and the company’s privacy-first approach.

Speaking to Fast Company, Federighi explained more about Apple’s overall AI ambitions, confirming that Apple is in agreement with other big tech companies that generative AI is the next big thing – as big a thing as the internet or microprocessors were when they first came about – and that we’re at the beginning of generative AI’s evolution. 


(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's commitment to AI privacy

Federighi told Fast Company that Apple is aiming to “establish an entirely different bar” to other AI services and products when it comes to privacy. He reinforced the messaging in the WWDC keynote that the personal aspect of Apple Intelligence is foundational to it and that users’ information will be under their control. He also reiterated that Apple wouldn’t be able to access your information, even while its data centers are processing it. 

The practical measures that Apple is taking to achieve this begin with its lineup of Apple M-series processors, which it claims will be able to run and process many AI tasks on-device, meaning your data won’t have to leave your system. For times when that local processing power is insufficient, the task at hand will be sent to dedicated custom-built Apple servers utilizing Private Cloud Compute (PCC), offering far more grunt for requests that need it – while being more secure than other cloud products in the same vein, Apple claims.

This will mean that your device will only send the minimum information required to process your requests, and Apple claims that its servers are designed in such a way that it’s impossible for them to store your data. This is apparently because after your request is processed and returned to your device, the information is ‘cryptographically destroyed’, and is never seen by anyone at Apple. 

Apple has published a more in-depth security research blog post going into more detail about PCC, which, as noted at WWDC 2024, is a system available to independent security researchers, who can access Apple Intelligence servers in order to verify Apple’s privacy and security claims around PCC.

Apple wants AI to feel like a natural, almost unnoticeable part of its software, and the tech giant is clearly keen to win the trust of those who use its products and to differentiate its take on AI compared with that of rivals. 

WWDC presentation

(Image credit: Apple)

More about ChatGPT and Apple Intelligence in China

Federighi also talks about Apple’s new partnership with OpenAI and the integration of ChatGPT into its operating systems. This is being done to give users access to industry-standard advanced models while reassuring users that ChatGPT isn’t what powers Apple Intelligence; the latter is exclusively driven by Apple’s own large language models (LLMs), which are totally distinct on Apple’s platforms, but you will be able to enlist ChatGPT for more complex requests. 

ChatGPT is only ever invoked at the user’s request and with their permission, and before any requests are sent to ChatGPT you’ll have to confirm that you want to do this explicitly. Apple teamed up with OpenAI to give users this option because, according to Federighi, GPT-4o is “currently the best LLM out there for broad world knowledge.” 

Apple is also considering expanding this concept to include other LLM makers in the future so that you might be able to choose from a variety of LLMs for your more demanding requests. 

Federighi also talked about its plans for Apple Intelligence in China – the company’s second biggest market – and how the company is working to comply with regulations in the country to bring its most cutting-edge capabilities to all customers. This process is underway, but may take a while, as Federighi observed: “We don’t have timing to announce right now, but it’s certainly something we want to do.”

We’ll have to see how Apple Intelligence performs in practice, and if Apple’s privacy-first approach pays off. Apple has a strong track record when it comes to designing products and services that integrate so seamlessly that they become a part of our everyday lives, and it might very well be on track to continue building that reputation with Apple Intelligence.


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Apple to empower privacy on iOS 18 by letting users choose who can have access to their contacts

iOS 18 is slated to launch later this year, and many people are looking forward to all of the app upgrades and redesigns. However, one of the areas we feel has been overshadowed by all the shiny new features is the series of security updates the system is set to receive. 

We've seen some of the improvements, like the Password app to help people manage accounts and verification codes, among other things. What you may not know, though, is that Apple is going to change the way how third-party apps interact with your iPhone.

At launch, iOS 18 will allow users to choose which contacts to share with an app. TechCrunch explains that whenever an iPhone owner is asked to give access to their address book, a “new two-step permissions pop-up screen” will appear. 

The first window will ask if you want to opt in, and the second will let you fine-tune your selection. Currently, iOS 17 gives you only two options: allowing full access or denying access. 

iOS 18's new contact permissions window

(Image credit: Apple)

There are a couple of reasons why this is an improvement. Security firm Mysk states that this change would limit the amount of data third-party apps could harvest. LinkedIn, for example, was found gaining access to users’ contacts and calendars. The firm felt the service obtained too much authorization, so much so that they called on Apple to add limitations. 

The second effect of the update is it could (although it’s not confirmed) stop software from repeatedly asking for “access even after they [have already] been denied.” The idea here is if you give software limited permissions, it should shut them up for good since the criteria has technically been met.

Locking and hiding

In addition to the upcoming contact controls, iOS 18 will also introduce the ability to lock and hide apps. Apple says locking software protects “its contents from view,” while hiding prevents others from seeing the app altogther. All of the hidden apps will live in a single folder, which you'll need to authenticate yourself to gain access.

iOS 18's new lock app window

(Image credit: Apple)

Upon locking or hiding an app, your iPhone will ask you to authenticate yourself either through biometrics or a password. The feature is meant to give you peace of mind so you won’t accidentally expose sensitive information to nosy people.  

2024 is shaping up to be a substantial year for the tech giant. If you want to learn more, check out TechRadar’s roundup of everything that was announced during WWDC 2024

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Google Maps is about to get a big privacy boost, but fans of Timeline may lose their data

One of Google Maps most popular features, Timeline, is about to become a lot more secure. To give you a quick refresher, Timeline acts as a diary of sorts that keeps track of all the past routes and trips you’ve taken. It’s a fun way to relive memories. 

Utilizing this tool requires people to upload their data to company servers for storage. That will change later this year though, as according to a recent email obtained by Android Police, Google will soon be keeping Timeline data on your smartphone.

Migrating Maps data over to localized device storage would greatly improve security as you won’t be forced to upload sensitive information to public servers anymore. However, due to the upcoming change, Google has decided to kill off Timeline for Web. Users have until December 1, 2024, to move everything from the online resource to their phone’s storage drive. Failure to take any action could result in losing valuable data, like moments from your timeline. 

“Google will try moving up to 90 days of Timeline data to the first signed-in device” after the cutoff date. However, anything older than 90 days will be deleted and it's important to take note of the wording. They’ll “try” to save as much as they can, meaning there is no guarantee Google will successfully migrate everything over if you miss the deadline. It’s unknown why this is the case, although we did ask.

Configuring Timeline

The company is asking people to review their Google Maps settings and choose which device will house their “saved visits and routes.” Their email offers a link to the app’s settings menu, but if you didn’t get the message you can navigate to Google Maps on your mobile device to make the changes there. It’s how we did it.

First, update Google Maps if you haven’t done so already, and then go to the Timeline section, where you’ll be greeted with a notification informing you of forthcoming changes. 

Then, click the Next button, and a new window will appear asking you how long you would like to keep your data. You can select to store the information until you get rid of it or set up an auto-delete function. Users can have Google Maps trash their Timeline after three, 18, or 36 months have passed.

Google Maps' new Timeline menu

(Image credit: Future)

Additionally, you can choose to back them up to Google servers. Android Police explains that this revamped system curates Maps Timelines for each device “independently.” So, if you buy a new smartphone and want to restore your data, using the backup tool is the best way.

What’s interesting is that the Timeline transfer is a one-way street. Google states in a Maps Help page that after the data is moved to your smartphone, you cannot revert back to the previous method. We experienced this firsthand because we couldn’t find a way to upload data to company servers outside of the backup function after localizing storage.

Don’t worry if you haven’t received the email or the Google Map patch as of yet. Android Police says the company is slowly rolling out the changes. Be sure to keep an eye out for either one.

While we have you check out TechRadar's list of the best Android phones for 2024.

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Microsoft’s Copilot AI can now read your files directly, but it’s not the privacy nightmare it sounds like

Microsoft has begun rolling out a new feature for its Copilot AI assistant in Windows that will allow the bot to directly read files on your PC, then provide a summary, locate specific data, or search the internet for additional information. 

Copilot has already been aggressively integrated into Microsoft 365 and Windows 11 as a whole, and this latest feature sounds – at least on paper – like a serious privacy issue. After all, who would want an AI peeking at all their files and uploading that information directly to Microsoft?

Well, fortunately, Copilot isn’t just going to be snooping around at random. As spotted by @Leopeva64 on X (formerly Twitter), you have to manually drag and drop the file into the Copilot chat box (or select the ‘Add a file’ option). Once the file is in place, you can proceed to make a request of the AI; the suggestion provided by Leopeva64 is simply ‘summarize’, which Copilot proceeds to do.

Another step towards Copilot being genuinely useful

I’ll admit it, I’m a Copilot critic. Perhaps it’s just because I’m a jaded career journalist with a lifetime of tech know-how and a neurodivergent tilt towards unhealthy perfectionism, but I’ve never seen the value of an AI assistant built into my operating system of choice; however, this is the sort of Copilot feature I actually might use.

The option to summarize alone seems quite useful: more than once, I’ve been handed a chunky PDF with embargoed details about a new tech product, and it would be rather nice not to have to sift through pages and pages of dense legalese and tech jargon just to find the scraps of information that are actually relevant to TechRadar’s readership. Summarizing documents is already something that ChatGPT and Adobe Acrobat AI can do, so it makes sense for Copilot – an AI tool that's specifically positioned as an on-system helper – to be able to do it.

While I personally prefer to be the master of my own Googling, I can see the web-search capabilities being very helpful to a lot of users, too. If you’ve got a file containing partial information, asking Copilot to ‘fill in the blanks’ could save you a lot of time. Copilot appears capable of reading a variety of different file types, from simple text documents to PDFs and spreadsheets. Given the flexible nature of modern AI chatbots, there are potentially many different things you could ask Copilot to do with your files – though apparently, it isn’t able to scan files for viruses (at least, not yet).

If you’re keen to get your hands on this feature yourself, you hopefully won’t have to wait long. While it doesn’t seem to be widely available just yet, Leopeva64 notes that it appears Copilot’s latest new skill “is being rolled out gradually”, so it’ll likely start showing up for more Windows 11 users as time goes on.

The Edge version of Copilot will apparently be getting this feature too, as Leopeva points out that it’s currently available in the Canary prototype build of the browser – if you want to check that out, you just have to sign up for the Edge Insider Program.

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Microsoft tests feature for Copilot AI that remembers your past chats – and it could enrage privacy activists

Microsoft is trying out another feature for Copilot which could prove controversial, allowing for users to turn on personalization for the AI, tailoring its responses based on previous chats.

Windows Latest discovered the feature in Copilot – which, despite being officially renamed to that, is still referred to as Bing Chat in some menus – and has had a play with it.

When the option for personalization (in Settings) is turned on, the AI uses insights gleaned from your chat history to “make conversations unique to you” the feature blurb states. Elsewhere Microsoft mentions that it’s recent conversations which are referred back to, although how far back it goes isn’t made clear.

Windows Latest gives us an example scenario where you have chatted about learning French with Copilot, and then you start a new topic on learning software. Copilot might then suggest apps that help in your quest to learn to speak French.

This feature is only available to some Copilot users, and it seems Microsoft is still testing the concept. According to feedback online, some users have seen the functionality come and go from their Copilot AI.

Windows Latest highlights a further addition into the mix for Copilot, namely a ‘Search on Bing’ option that appears when you hover over a message in the chat. If your query isn’t satisfactorily dealt with by the AI, this allows you to easily fire up a web search as a follow-up.

Analysis: Double-edged sword?

Personalization could be regarded as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, additional context is going to be useful for making the AI come up with material more relevant to your needs. On the other hand, it brings up questions about how far back in the chat history Microsoft combs, and issues related to that data – is any kind of personal profile being built here beyond the limited nature presented (i.e. recent chats only)?

We’d assume not, but this is an idea that’s been floated on online forums (like Reddit) before now, and folks are always going to be paranoid around the privacy of these kinds of features. And that’s not surprising, really, given the amount of data hoovering and profiling big tech companies engage in on a broader level.

Notably, Microsoft has felt the wrath of EU regulations of late, interfering with the software giant’s plans for Copilot considerably, and meaning the AI hasn’t been deployed to European users yet, while legal wrinkles are ironed out. That involves not just work on Copilot, but other changes in Microsoft’s products elsewhere (some of them relatively radical like removing Bing’s hooks from the search box in the Windows 11 taskbar).

Speaking of Bing, the new integrated search option for Copilot is a useful extra, though we don’t expect any option to change the search engine being used will be forthcoming (of course). Bard has a similar built-in ‘Google It’ capability, it should be noted, which has been in that AI since its launch, so Microsoft is playing catch-up here.

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Facebook Messenger gets its biggest ever update – including a major privacy boost

Big changes are coming to Facebook Messenger, covering everything from photo and video sharing to user privacy. The changes are rolling out from today, although it may take some time for everyone's account to be updated.

Perhaps the biggest upgrade is the switch to end-to-end encryption as the default option for conversations – this had previously been available as an option in individual chats, but will now be automatically applied to all conversations and audio and video calls.

As on other similarly secured messaging apps like WhatsApp, end-to-end encryption means only you and the person or people you're chatting to can see the conversations – so no one else can intercept or unlock your communications, including staff at Meta, malicious actors, and law enforcement agencies.

The existing disappearing messages feature is getting tweaked, too: all messages now vanish after 24 hours (previously you could customize this), and Meta is making it easier for users to see when disappearing messages are enabled. You'll be alerted if anyone tries to take a screenshot of a disappearing message, too.

More upgrades

Image 1 of 2

Message editing in the Facebook Messenger app

Message editing is coming to the Messenger app (Image credit: Meta)
Image 2 of 2

Photo layouts in the Facebook Messenger app

Get ready for new photo and video layouts (Image credit: Meta)

In addition, Messenger is now joining Apple's iMessage in letting you edit messages after you've sent them. You get a 15-minute window after a message has been sent to revise it, if you've made a glaring typo or want to change the tone of your latest communication.

Another change is that read receipts can now be switched off, if you don't want other people knowing when you've seen their messages. As is the case with other messaging apps, there's a trade-off: you won't be able to see read receipts from other people either.

Photo and videos will now be shared at an “upgraded” quality, Meta says – so expect files that are less compressed when you share them around. Photos and videos will be easier to access in the Messenger interface, with some “fun” layouts applied when you share them in batches, and instant reactions to photos and videos are being added too.

Lastly, voice messages are going to get controls for variable speed playback, and the app will now remember where you left off in a voice message if you come back to it later. Voice messages will also continue to play if you navigate away from the chat or the app.

All in all, it's a big range of upgrades that'll be welcome for regular Messenger users, even if it might not convince others to switch from WhatsApp or iMessage.

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Hate Copilot in Windows 11? Free privacy tools can now get rid of the AI

DoNotSpy11, a free anti-tracking tool that aims to keep your privacy levels tighter in Windows 11 (and 10), just got an update that allows it to deal with Copilot – as did O&O ShutUp10 (we’ll come back to that later).

Tom’s Hardware spotted that the new version of DoNotSpy11 (v1.2.0.0) comes with support for Windows 11 23H2, the freshly unleashed annual update for this year.

The 23H2 update comes with Copilot, as you may be aware, and drops the AI into your taskbar as a default icon. If you don’t want that, DoNotSpy11 now allows you to disable that button – although you can already do this in Windows 11 anyway.

However, beyond that, DoNotSpy11 has an option to entirely ‘Disable Copilot’ which is a new introduction in the app’s raft of measures for maintaining privacy.

There are a lot more privacy options here besides that, including disabling various elements of Windows 11 telemetry (data on usage of the OS sent back to Microsoft), getting rid of lock screen notifications, disabling widgets, and more.

DoNotSpy11 also makes a big effort to tackle a lot of Microsoft’s attempts to sneak adverts into the UI of Windows 11. That includes disabling ads in File Explorer, suggestions in Windows Ink Workspace and the Settings app, as well as Start Menu app suggestions, and more besides.

Another similar offering, O&O ShutUp10 (which supports Windows 11 as well as Windows 10), tackles Windows privacy issues and tweaks settings to evade Microsoft’s telemetry in a similar vein.

That app was recently updated to also disable Copilot, and remove the taskbar button.

You can check out and download DoNotSpy11 here, or O&O ShutUp10 here, both of which are free.

Analysis: Two long-standing options

Both DoNotSpy11 and O&O ShutUp10 have been around for some time (indeed, the former used to be DoNotSpy10 before Windows 11 existed).

We should note that the original version (the initial DoNotSpy10 for Windows 10) allegedly carried an advert-pushing plugin (ironically, for something designed to keep your privacy). This wasn’t malware, but we’re told it was identified by some antivirus apps as a potentially unwanted program (or PUP). At least the free version of DoNotSpy10 had this anyway, when it first launched, but that’s no longer the case (the product description of DoNotSpy11 is clearly marked as ’ad-free’ thankfully).

One advantage of the alternative O&O ShutUp10++ is that it doesn’t have to be installed – it can just be run directly from the download folder, which is useful.

However, in either case, you proceed at your own risk, although that’s true for any piece of third-party software for Windows 11.

Having the ability to ditch Copilot is certainly going to be a tempter for some folks who don’t want the AI on their desktop. While many users are embracing Copilot, and are excited about its potential, there will always be more cautious types who don’t want the AI on their desktop – particularly not now, in its initial stages, when Copilot’s powers to interact with Windows 11 settings are still very limited.

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Copilot AI could soon be available to a lot more Windows 11 users with a big privacy change from Microsoft

Microsoft has an incoming change to Windows 11 – or at least it’s in testing – that makes some moves on the privacy front over in Europe.

Windows Latest spotted something in an older preview build of Windows 11 that was rather glossed over at the time, but recent happenings with the Copilot AI – which has not been made available to European users for privacy reasons – throw an interesting new light on the change.

The preview build we’re talking about was pushed out in August 2023 in the Dev channel (build 23521), and in the blog post introducing it, Microsoft noted the following: “In the European Economic Area (EEA), Windows will now require consent to share data between Windows and other signed-in Microsoft services. You will see some Windows features start to check for consent now, with more being added in future builds.”

Microsoft goes on to say if this consent is declined by the Windows 11 user, that “some functionality in Windows features may be unavailable.” As an example, Microsoft notes that certain file recommendations may not be made in the Start menu’s Recommended panel.

That’s a potentially intrusive element that we’ve been a bit concerned about – in terms of where the line might lie between recommendations and ads, and how flexible that line might be – so European users will potentially be able to dodge the worst of this.

Not just that, of course, as this consent applies to other (unspecified) Windows features – we’ll come back to that shortly.

As for the progress of this EEA consent change, it appears to still be rolling out to those testing Windows 11 and hasn’t come to everyone yet, as Windows Latest observes.

Windows Latest asked Microsoft about this introduction, with the software giant replying: “We have nothing more to share beyond what’s in the blog post [for build 23521]. This change was previously rolled out to the Dev Channel in August.”

Analysis: A hopeful hint of a timely landing for Copilot?

Presumably this change will be more widely rolled out going forward to testers, because it might tie in with an important factor that recently emerged – namely the availability of Microsoft’s Copilot AI.

As we’ve previously reported, even though Copilot is now officially out for Windows 11 (the release version), it’s only certain regions that can get the AI assistant. Due to stricter privacy regulations in the European Union, Microsoft cannot deploy Copilot to users who live there.

Not yet anyway – but a version of Copilot that’s compliant with EU laws is underway, and those Windows 11 users will get the AI on their desktop in time.

Now, we’re just theorizing here, but it seems like Copilot could be one of the various features that’s bound up with this data-sharing consent measure which is now in testing.

If so, the good news for those in Europe who want Copilot is that the groundwork to get the AI available over there was already started a couple of months back. And if you think about it, that makes sense – Microsoft would’ve known about this issue for some time, after all, so would surely be preparing for it in advance.

We can hope, then, that the wait for the Copilot AI for Windows 11 users in Europe might be a shorter one than we expected (and perhaps that other regions will follow soon enough, too).

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Google Bard update reveals a more powerful AI – but it might scare privacy purists

Google has built a new model for Bard which it is calling the most capable iteration of the AI yet.

Google provided an update on the new version of Bard which it calls “more intuitive, imaginative and responsive than ever before,” offering greater levels of quality and accuracy in the chatbot’s responses.

A whole bunch of new features have been brought into the mix for Bard, and that starts with support for 40+ languages, and some tight integration with existing Google products elsewhere.

That includes giving Bard the ability to get its hooks into your emails in Gmail, and data in Google Drive and Docs, meaning you can get the AI to find info across your various files, or indeed summarize a piece of content if needed.

Bard will also be able to pull data in real-time as needed from Google Maps, Google’s travel features (hotels and flights), and YouTube, all of which will be extensions that are enabled by default (you can disable them if you wish, but they’re switched on by default in the new Bard).

Another big move here is the ability to check Bard’s answers. Not too sure about any given response from the AI? A ‘Google It’ button can be clicked to bring up additional info around any query, which is drawn from Google search (where supported), so you can check for yourself to see if there’s any doubt, or difference of opinion, elsewhere online compared to what Bard is telling you.

A further fresh introduction gives Bard users the ability to share a conversation via a public link, allowing others to continue that conversation with Google’s AI themselves, should they wish.

Analysis: The distant but distinct sound of alarm bells

This is indeed a major update for Bard, and there are some useful elements in here for sure. Better quality and accuracy, and the ability to check Bard’s responses, are obviously welcome features.

Some other stuff will set some alarm bells ringing for folks, particularly the more privacy-conscious out there. Do you really want Bard’s tendrils snaking into every corner of your Google Drive, Docs, and Gmail? Doesn’t that sound like the beginning of a scenario of a nightmarish overreach from the AI?

Well, Google is pretty careful here to clarify that your personal data absolutely isn’t being hoovered up to train Bard in any way. As the company puts it: “Your Google Workspace data won’t be used to train Bard’s public model and you can disable access to it at any time.”

So, the only use of the data will be to furnish you with convenient replies to queries, and that could be pretty handy. Know you’ve got a document somewhere on a certain topic, but can’t remember where it is in your Google account, or what it’s called? You should be able to prompt Bard to find it for you.

Don’t like the idea of Bard accessing your stuff in any way, shape, or form? Then you don’t have to use these abilities, they can be switched off (and the mentioned extensions don’t have to be enabled). Indeed, whatever assurances Google makes about Bard not snuffling around in your data for its own purposes, there will be folks immediately reaching for the ‘off’ switch in these cases, you can absolutely bank on it.

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