Data privacy scandal compels Facebook to drop its plan of unveiling smart speakers

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March 28, 2018
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Facebook has long been rumored on working on its AI-powered smart speakers and may well have also planned to launch them at its F8 developer conference which is set to be happening in May. But according to a new report of Bloomberg, Facebook has suspended the launch of new home products at that event due to the biggest data privacy scandal that has been all over social networks for the past couple of weeks.

Recently it was revealed that a data analytical company, Cambridge Analytica, was able to use Facebook’s API to gather personal information on 50 million users without their consent to target voters in the election campaign. And even more recently, Facebook’s apps were found collecting users’ call and text message logs dating back many years.

And it’s not over yet, the data scandal is likely to catch more heat as company’s CEO Mark Zuckerburg has yet to testify before Congress. In this tough climate, launching a smart speaker is not a good idea, of course.

Bloomberg reports that many people already doubtful about bringing the always-on listening devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home to their homes. Where Facebook has yet to do a lot of work to regain people’s trust before asking them for even more data than it has already collected.

Meanwhile, another aspect to the delay in launching a smart speaker is that the company has yet to prove its caliber in building AI assistants. The company has previously launched a bot engine for its Messenger platform, dubbed M for developers to craft their own solutions, but it’s designed for text and instead of voice.

The rapidly growing social network has around 2.2 billion monthly active users and it has a great impact on our social life and the decisions our governments make.

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