Facebook will delay the announcement of its own smart speaker amidst scrutiny over the company’s data practices, Bloomberg reports. The social media giant has come under fire recently for its alleged part in allowing Cambridge Analytica, a political advertising firm, to gain unauthorized access to the information of over 50 million people. The situation has become so serious that Facebook co-founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is scheduled to testify before Congress in the coming weeks.
Facebook’s smart speaker is said to be a home device with features including video chat and a digital assistant, similar to Amazon’s Echo Show. The company planned to announce the new speaker at its annual F8 conference in May, with a release scheduled for the fall. The company is now delaying the speaker’s announcement, pending the outcome of this data crisis.
According to Bloomberg, Facebook’s focus group testing had already revealed privacy concerns regarding the smart speaker. Those questioned responded with worries about how much data information Facebook was collecting on its users, considering the vast bank of knowledge that the company already has. Though Facebook isn’t canceling its plans to launch a smart speaker this year, it will hold off on announcing it until this situation is resolved.
What are your thoughts on a Facebook-branded smart speaker? Would you purchase it? And more importantly, would you trust the company to manage your data responsibly?