Civil servants told not to have work conversations with smart speakers in the room

IT policy for public servants says to avoid having meetings in the same room as Alexa or Google Home due to concerns they may record what is said and pass the information onto their parent companies

Amazon: the company said its smart speaker was ‘designed to record as little audio as possible’. Picture: Getty

Civil servants have been warned not to discuss their work near smart speakers such as Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa over fears the devices could record what they say.

The IT policy issued to staff at the Oireachtas has told civil servants to “avoid having confidential work conversations near digital home assistants or smart speakers (eg Alexa or Google Home), as these may record what you say and share it with their parent company”.

The document, seen by the Business Post, was circulated last December and sets out guidance for staff when they’re working from home, with hybrid working still the most common arrangement in the service.