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Local Reaction To President Trump's Refugee Ban / Is This Thing On? Gadgets Are All Ears

Iranian-born Elham Rabiei (left) and Lebanese Ossama Tfeily protested. Both are U.S. citizens and know people affected by Trump's order.
David Boraks

Monday, January 30, 2017

First, local reaction to President Trump's temporary ban on refugees. Then, digital assistants are becoming more numerous and are taking on new tasks. But that requires them to listen to our every word.  What are they doing with what they’re hearing?  Should we be concerned?  

Part One: Local Reaction To President Trump's Refugee Ban


Over the weekend demonstrators gathered at major airports around the country to protest against President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily banning citizens of seven Muslim countries from entering the U.S. On Saturday, six were arrested at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. And on Sunday, more than 100 demonstrators gathered near the entrance of the airport. We'll talk with WFAE reporters who were there and hear reaction from around the state about the President's temporary ban on refugees.


David Boraks - Reporter for WFAE

Nick de la Canal - Reporter for WFAE

Rep. Alma Adams - Represents North Carolina's 12th Congressional District, she joined the protests in Charlotte

Part Two: Is This Thing On? Gadgets Are All Ears

Credit Amazon

Virtual assistants, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, are starting to become house fixtures, especially after millions of the smart devices showed up under the Christmas tree. Many more are forecast to be sold in the coming year, which some say is going to be "the year of voice."

The surge of digital helpers comes as smartphones and other gadgets seem to becoming smarter about our activities. Have you ever been in a store and have an ad for the store pop up on your phone's Facebook feed?

Should we be concerned? How much are those virtual assistants hearing, and what happens with the information they gather? Is there such a thing as privacy when Alexa and Cortana are all ears?


Tim Moynihan, staff writer, WIRED

Michelle De Mooy, director, Center for Democracy and Technology's Privacy and Data Project