Hey Kimya, Is My Smart Speaker Spying on Me? Taking Control of Sensor Privacy Through Isolation and Amnesia

Website Maintenance Alert

Due to scheduled maintenance, the USENIX website will not be available on Saturday, April 13, from 12:00 am–12:30 am Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7). We apologize for the inconvenience.

If you are trying to register for NSDI '24 or register for PEPR '24, please complete your registration before or after this time period.

Authors: 

Piet De Vaere and Adrian Perrig, ETH Zürich

Abstract: 

Although smart speakers and other voice assistants are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, their always-standby nature continues to prompt significant privacy concerns. To address these, we propose Kimya, a hardening framework that allows device vendors to provide strong data-privacy guarantees. Concretely, Kimya guarantees that microphone data can only be used for local processing, and is immediately discarded unless a user-auditable notification is generated. Kimya thus makes devices accountable for their data-retention behavior. Moreover, Kimya is not limited to voice assistants, but is applicable to all devices with always-standby, event-triggered sensors. We implement Kimya for ARM Cortex-M, and apply it to a wake-word detection engine. Our evaluation shows that Kimya introduces low overhead, can be used in constrained environments, and does not require hardware modifications.

Open Access Media

USENIX is committed to Open Access to the research presented at our events. Papers and proceedings are freely available to everyone once the event begins. Any video, audio, and/or slides that are posted after the event are also free and open to everyone. Support USENIX and our commitment to Open Access.

BibTeX
@inproceedings {287204,
author = {Piet De Vaere and Adrian Perrig},
title = {Hey Kimya, Is My Smart Speaker Spying on Me? Taking Control of Sensor Privacy Through Isolation and Amnesia},
booktitle = {32nd USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 23)},
year = {2023},
isbn = {978-1-939133-37-3},
address = {Anaheim, CA},
pages = {2401--2418},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/usenixsecurity23/presentation/de-vaere},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug
}

Presentation Video