Google and Apple's latest design trend

Do you trust that tech companies aren’t using the microphones inside your phone, laptop, or smart-home device to listen in on what you’re doing? Luckily, you don’t have to: Google’s latest smart display includes a hardware kill switch that electrically disconnects the display’s camera and microphone to ensure that Google doesn’t accidentally end up with more data about your private life at home.

These kill switches are a growing trend in consumer electronics, with Google, Amazon, Apple, and HP all starting to include them in their devices. While Google professes that the hardware kill switch will give people more control over their data, it’s really more of a marketing gimmick in the form of hardware design: After all, smart home devices become unusable when they can no longer listen to you.—Katharine Schwab

This post is from Fast Company