An exemplar of human-machine communication, voice-based assistants (VBAs) embedded in smartphones and smart speakers simplify everyday tasks while collecting significant data about users and their environment. In recent years, devices using VBAs have continued to add new features and collect more data—in potentially invasive ways. Using Communication Privacy Management theory as a guiding framework, we analyze data from 11 focus groups with 65 US adult VBA users and nonusers. Findings highlight differences in attitudes and concerns toward VBAs broadly and provide insights into how attitudes are influenced by device features. We conclude with considerations for how to address boundary regulation challenges inherent in human-machine interactions.



Author ORCID Identifier

Jessica Vitak: 0000-0001-9362-9032

Priya C. Kumar: 0000-0001-9244-7915

Yuting Liao: 0000-0002-5008-2097

Michael Zimmer: 0000-0003-4229-4847