I’ve posted this issue on Apple’s Discussion board, but got no meaningful replies, so I thought I’d ask the ever-knowledgeable TidBITS community.
I recently updated my WiFi network gear, replacing an old Asus AP with a new faster Ubiquity access point (a UAP-AC-Lite). The UAP reports real-time data statistics for every client device connected to it. The stats reveal that my Original HomePod is a data pig. It’s transmitting 4 to 5 GB of data daily!! And receiving around 1 to 2 GB per day.
The HomePod is basically idle. It’s not being used. It’s in an upstairs bedroom - nobody’s been saying “Hey Siri” nor asking it any questions, so no need for it to be sending digitized audio to Siri HQ. It’s not been streaming any music (if it had, that would account for some bits being sent from the AP to the HomePod, but not transmitted from the HomePod). The feature to Share Analytics with Apple is turned off (and even if it were enabled, the occasional log file couldn’t possibly comprise gigabytes of data each day).
The HomePod is up to date with v14.6.
To be clear, the telemetry from the Ubiquity AP does not indicate that the gigabytes of data are being uploaded to the internet, just that the HomePod is sending out data on WiFi. No doubt it’s advertising itself on the LAN with mDNS broadcasts, notifying other Apple devices that it’s available. But such broadcast messages should not account for multi-gigabytes per day.
I’ve taken a look at the traffic stats captured by my gateway router. We have lots of internet download traffic (YouTube, Netflix, AppleTV, etc), but I don’t see any signs of multi-gigabytes of data getting sent upstream each day. The destination and purpose of the 4-5 GB of data that the HomePod is transmitting is unknown.