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IGF 2018 LIGHTNING SESSION #8 Always-on and listening: a talk about digital assistants




Name: Luã Fergus Cruz

Organization: Center for Technology and Society at FGV Law School

Country where Organization is based: Brazil

Stakeholder Group: Civil Society

Regional Group: Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Short Description

The arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT) is considered one of the most significant technological changes of the present times, and promises to impact our lives in several ways. At the same time, this interactivity and interconnectivity presents considerable opportunities for technological development and significant challenges to privacy and the protection of personal data.

The products that today are integrated with the IoT technologies are of various types and have different functions, but a specific device draws attention in the international market and began to emerge on the shelves: speakers that have built-in personal assistant voice software.

These virtual assistants use artificial intelligence techniques to analyze user requests and return information - supposedly - useful. They seek to become so natural that we will hardly realize that they are listening to us all the time. Every time an assistant records our voices, the sound files are sent and stored on company servers. Through the collection and analysis of big data, such assistants will process an immense amount of information about us.

That said, this activity aims to be a space where participants feel free to raise concerns and give insights that can foster solutions, approaches and propositions that focus on the privacy discussion of voice-controlled devices.

Session Time: 
Monday, 12 November, 2018 - 15:00 to 15:20
Cybersecurity, Trust and Privacy

- Session Type (Workshop, Open Forum, etc.): Lightning Session

- Title: Always-on and listening: a talk about digital assistants

- Date & Time:  Day 1 / Monday, 12 november | Time: 15.00-15.20

- Organizer(s):  Luã Fergus, Diogenes Laertius and Kimmy Wu

- Chair/Moderator: Luã Fergus

- Rapporteur/Notetaker: Paula Côrte Real

- List of speakers and their institutional affiliations (Indicate male/female/ transgender male/ transgender female/gender variant/prefer not to answer):

Luã Fergus Cruz (Male)

- Theme (as listed here):

Cybersecurity, Trust and Privacy

- Subtheme (as listed here):

Internet of Things

- Please state no more than three (3) key messages of the discussion. [150 words or less]

Please elaborate on the discussion held, specifically on areas of agreement and divergence.

[150 words]


Examples: There was broad support for the view that...; Many [or some] indicated that...; Some supported XX, while

others noted YY...; No agreement...



se describe any policy recommendations or suggestions regarding the way forward/potential next


[100 words]


What ideas surfaced in the discussion with respect to how the IGF ecosystem might make progress on this


[75 words]


Please estimat

e the total number of participants.


Please estimate the total number of women and gender


variant individuals present.


To what extent did the session discuss gender issues, and if to any extent, what was the discussion?



Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678