An app called Princeton IoT Inspector is a new app that can tell you if/when your smart speaker spies on you (via CBC).
Princeton IoT Inspector
The app uses a hacking technique called ARP spoofing. This lets it intercept all of your network traffic to figure out what data is sent to which external parties.
For instance, if you’re live-streaming a show on a Roku TV app, the channel you’re watching could be communicating with a dozen different servers in the background, the researchers say. The app is connecting to advertisers and tracking services, all of whom have a financial incentive to monitor who is watching what, when and for how long.
“Hacking technique” sounds scary, but the tool is open source. If software is open source, this means that other people can look at the code to figure out what it’s doing, so it’s less likely the creator would sneak in something for ill.