So I'm a real big booster of privacy and consumer rights and I really don't see the issue.
I mean, I've got a mailing list. I'd say 90% of the email addresses we get are gmail. It says right there in the terms that Google reads your gmail. Always has. Always will.
I've got Google maps. If I want it to be accurate enough to use, I'm sharing my location with Google. Period. Apple's the same way. They don't require you to do this but it's too damn useful not to so you do.
I don't talk to Google. I hate that. But I've seen a half-dozen people accidentally trigger Siri. Let's be honest: if you have a smartphone you're walking around with a location-and-audio-and-accelerometer-and-data-and-everything-else bug that the NSA can tap whenever it wants.
Allo? Allo straight-up says "if you want to use the personal assistant you need to let us listen in with our smartest computers." You have to turn it on. I said "no thanks" and that was that. But I'm fully aware that law enforcement can turn that mic on whenever they want under virtually zero pretext.
There's this assumption in all of this "not OK, Google" thinking that people don't have the common sense to understand that putting an always-on microphone in their house means that an AI will be listening in on their life. It's like the example in the article: if you go to a strip club every Sunday, the AI is going to tell you the traffic on the way to the strip club on Sunday. That's what it's supposed to do. If you're going to be mad about something, be mad about the fact that even a fucking AI has figured out you go to the titty bar on Sundays. 'cuz you know what? Everybody at the titty bar figured it out.
I run Google Apps. This is a branded "google" with my own URL. When I send my plane ticket receipts to that email, Google adds my flight itinerary to my calendar. Pretty neat! Except I wanted to share that calendar with my wife, and to do that I had to punch through three different firewalls in two different places. I had to opt the fuck into that. And it's handy. So I did.
All this shit is opt-in. If you don't want your router to hear your every word, don't buy a router with a microphone connected to a gajillion rackspaces worth of DSP.
But you can't for one minute pretend that Google is somehow being dishonest about this stuff. They've been up close and personal about it since Gmail was invite-only.