Facebook says Portal device not for snooping

Portal, Facebook's talking speaker, is not a snooping device—that's a message the social network says has gotten lost in the coverage leading up to the device's launch.

"The timing of the launch is a challenge, in terms of the brand and trust, and we're committed to improving on it," says Facebook vice-president Andrew Bosworth.

Unlike the other devices, while you can use Portal for trivia and having questions answered, the primary focus is as a tool to make video calls.

Portal has a built-in camera that can follow you around the room, allowing you to move freely and fit more members of the family in the video chat.

Facebook, like Amazon and Google, records every query you make to the speaker—to learn how to answer correctly—and stores the audio of the requests.

Bosworth says the unit is a "game changer" that helps people feel closer to families by making better group video calls.

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