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Facebook has delayed its camera equipped smart speaker due to data policy scrutiny

Last year, we first heard about Facebook’s plans to compete with Amazon, Google and Apple in the ‘smart speaker’ market. The speaker was apparently set to be revealed in May at a conference, but recently, Facebook has found itself in the middle of a major data usage and privacy scandal. With that in mind, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Facebook’s speaker has apparently been delayed.

Facebook’s smart speaker was apparently going to be designed for video chatting, with a touch screen display and camera. The wide-angle lens found on the speaker would be capable of recognising a user’s face and associate it with their Facebook account. It would also come with a digital assistant baked in, like Apple’s Siri, or Amazon’s Alexa.

According to sources speaking with Bloomberg, this speaker was expected to be unveiled at the F8 conference in May, with a full release planned for this Autumn. However, those plans have since been put on hold, as the company deals from the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Apparently Facebook will still launch its speaker later this year, but that will all depend on how quickly the company can amend its data collection policies and win back user trust.

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KitGuru Says: Facebook has never been a privacy haven, but it seems like users of the social network are more riled up than ever this time around. Either way, releasing a smart home device with cameras and microphones attached to it probably isn’t the smartest move in the current climate. 

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