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Facebook reportedly pauses smart speaker plans for obvious reasons

Zuckerberg's always-listening home device could be a hard sell right now.
Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
03.27.18 in Home
Derek Jouppi, a hardware design engineer intern at Facebook Inc., tests servers at the company's hardware labs in Menlo Park, California, U.S., on Monday, April 7, 2014. Bloomberg via Getty Images

Even though it seems like everyone is selling some sort of smart speaker, Bloomberg reports that Facebook will not be the next company joining in and has scuttled plans for a reveal at its F8 developer event. Despite earlier rumors of a device that would compete with the likes of Echo, Home, and HomePod, it seems that the company has considered its current privacy debacle and decided this isn't the right time to try and sell customers (and, likely regulators) on an always-listening assistant/video chat device with built-in facial recognition.

Of course, the market hasn't exactly been receptive to Facebook's previous hardware efforts either -- remember the HTC First with Facebook Home? -- so the potential of anything beyond Oculus Go remains hazy. Consensual or not, there are already rumors-that-won't die about Facebook and Instagram listening in on your conversations, and we'd expect some solid answers on privacy before there's any movement in that direction.

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