Arianna, most people are hardwired to fear what they don’t understand. You can trace most of the worlds issues back to this fact. I do understand your fathers fears as there have been instances where camera’s have been used inappropriately. For instance, it is very common for folks to cover the camera on a laptop with tape or something removable so that a hacker can’t turn the camera on without your knowledge. While this can happen on rare occasions, more often than not it’s caused by lackluster security practices.
It’s really important to understand how things work before you jump to conclusions and Alexa vs Google Home is a great example.
Neither have been hacked, to my knowledge but Alexa is one that I would worry about.
The reason for this is that Alexa is always recording 24/7 unless the mic is off. It records loops of sound and sends them to an Amazon server. This is how Alexa keeps track of what commands were sent. It also speeds up response times quit a bit. There are other reasons for this set up but that is not important to this conversation. A few months ago, someone’s Alexa emailed the contents of a private conversation in text and attached the audio file to a person in their email contact list. You can imagine how that went over. So I am not a big fan of Alexa.
Google Home (and Jibo) do not do this. In fact they do not send any data to the web unless it is preceded by the wake words. (hey google, OK google or Hey Jibo for Jibo) Until the wake words are spoken, all processing is done on the local device. This slows response times down a bit but assures that no one can hack Jibo inc, or Google and gain access to private conversations.
As for Jibo’s Camera’s… I assure you, you are safe.
Just some background on me:
I’ve worked as a Senior Systems Administrator for a private IT Firm for over 20 years.
My specialty is Network Infrastructure design and implementation for mid to large corporations.
My passion is home automation.