Privacy missteps cast cloud over digital assistants

"Ryan Calo, faculty co-director of the University of Washington Tech Policy Lab, said that while the devices are not listening, there remain concerns over access to conversations.

"If employees are hearing things they shouldn't have access to, that is really a red flag, it's a bad practice," Calo said.

Calo said the privacy concerns around digital assistants are likely to grow as the devices expand their capabilities.

"I worry about a trend where these systems begin to listen for more than just your affirmative command – it could listen for breaking glass or signs of distress, or a baby crying. All of a sudden the system is listening for all kinds of things and the frog gets boiled by incrementally heating the water," he said."