Rumor: Facebook postpones smart speaker unveiling

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Facebook will reportedly not announce the arrival of a smart speaker for video chats in May, as the company planned. The cause lies in the privacy crisis at Facebook.

Facebook’s F8 developer conference will take place in May and the social network is said to have taken the opportunity to unveil its smart speaker. According to Bloomberg, that preview has been postponed. The site relies on sources familiar with Facebook’s plans. The actual introduction would take place in the fall. It is not known whether the postponement of the unveiling will affect that introduction period.

Facebook would like to take a closer look at the product, especially the use of user data. The smart speaker would contain an intelligent assistant and have a screen for video chats between Facebook members. Facebook is said to have decided it is not a good time to show the speaker given the huge criticism the company has been facing over Cambridge Analytica’s use of data from millions of users.

The revelations have made Facebook the subject of investigations in the US and Europe. In the US, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify to Congress, he told CNN. He refuses to go to the UK to answer questions about Facebook’s role in Cambridge Analytica’s collection of the data. In that country, the company’s chief technology officer and chief product officer will testify at a parliamentary hearing, The Guardian reports.

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