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July 9 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

Join us for a Tech Talk on the topic of “When Speakers Are All Ears – Characterizing Misactivations of IoT Smart Speakers”!


Internet-connected voice-controlled speakers, also known as smart speakers, are increasingly popular due to their convenience for everyday tasks such as asking about the weather forecast or playing music. However, such convenience comes with privacy risks: smart speakers need to constantly listen in order to activate when the “wake word” is spoken, and are known to transmit audio from their environment and record it on cloud servers. In this talk, Daniel will address the privacy risk from smart speaker misactivations, i.e., when they activate, transmit, and/or record audio from their environment when the wake word is not spoken. He will characterize the sources of such misactivations and their implications for consumers, and discuss potential mitigations.

About the Speaker

Daniel J. Dubois is a postdoctoral researcher at Northeastern University’s Khoury College of Computer Sciences, working with David Choffnes on the ReCon project to understand the privacy implications of smart devices and the Internet of Things. Dubois’ research is rooted in software engineering, specifically on decentralized and self-adaptive software architectures. As his work has matured, he has become more interested in distributed systems, in particular from a privacy perspective, which he focuses on now. Dubois earned his PhD in information engineering from Politecnico di Milano, where he interned at IBM Haifa Research Lab, working on optimizing live Virtual Machines migrations. He then participated as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, as well as the Imperial College London. Dubois received both his bachelor’s degree and his master’s degree from Politecnico di Milano, as well as another master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Registration is required – Register Here!

If you have any questions, please reach out to Khoury-GradAdministration@northeastern.edu.


July 9
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Toronto, Vancouver