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"Alexa‚ are you spying on me?": Exploring the Effect of User Experience on the Security and Privacy of Smart Speaker Users

George Chalhoub and Ivan Flechais


Smart speakers are useful and convenient, but they are associated with numerous security and privacy threats. We conducted thirteen interviews with users of smart speakers to explore the effect of user experience (UX) factors on security and privacy. We analyzed the data using Grounded Theory and validated our results with a qualitative meta-synthesis. We found that smart speaker users lack privacy concerns towards smart speakers, which prompts them to trade their privacy for convenience. However, various trigger points such as negative experiences evoke security and privacy needs. When such needs emerge, existing security and privacy features were not found to be user-friendly which resulted in compensatory behavior. We used our results to propose a conceptual model demonstrating UX’s effect on risk, perceptions and balancing behavior. Finally, we concluded our study by recommending user-friendly security and privacy features for smart speakers.

Book Title
22nd International Conference on Human−Computer Interaction (HCII 2020)