Speech is about interaction. It is more than just passing messages – the listener nods and finishes the sentence for you. Interaction is so essentially a part of normal speech, that non-interactive speech has its own name: it is a monologue. It’s not normal. Normal speech is about interaction. Privacy is a very natural part of such spoken interactions. We intuitively lower our voices to a whisper when we want to tell a secret. We thus change the way we speak depending on the level of privacy. In a public speech, we would not reveal intimate secrets. We thus change the content of our speech depending on the level of privacy. Furthermore, in a cafeteria, we would match our speaking volume to the background noise. We therefore change our speech in an interaction with the surroundings. Overall, we change both the manner of speaking and its content, in an interaction with our environment. Our research team is interested in the question of how such notions of privacy should be taken into account in the design of speech interfaces, such as Alexa/Amazon, Siri/Apple, Google and Mycroft. We believe that in the design of good user-interfaces, you should strive for technology which is intuitive to use. If your speech assistant handles privacy in a similar way as a natural person does, then most likely it would feel natural to the user. A key concept for us is modelling the users’ experience of privacy. Technology should understand our feelings towards privacy, how we experience it and act accordingly. From the myData-perspective, this means that all (speech) data is about interactions, between two or more parties. Ownership of such data is then also shared among the participating parties. There is no singular owner of data, but access and management of data must always happen in mutual agreement. In fact, the same applies to many other media as well. It is obvious that chatting on WhatsApp is a shared experience. Interesting (=good) photographs are those which entail a story; "This is when we went to the beach with Sophie." The myData concept should be adapted to take into account such frequently appearing real-life data. In our view, data becomes more interesting when it is about an interaction. In other words, since interaction is so central to our understanding of the world, it should then also be reflected in our data representations. To include the most significant data, we should turn our attention from myData to focus on ourData. Here, the importance of data is then dependent on, and even defined by, with whom are you talking?

  author = {Bäckström, Tom and Das, Sneha and {Pérez Zarazaga}, Pablo and Sigg, Stephan and Findling, Rainhard and Laakasuo, Michael},
  title = {With whom are you talking? Privacy in Speech Interfaces},
  booktitle = {Proc.\ 4th annual conference of the MyData Global network
  		  ({MyData} 2019)},
  year = {2019},
  address = {Helsinki, Finland},
  month = sep,
  note = { {Abstract with presentation, in print}}