Scary stuff here:
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Re: Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Portal by Facebook
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2019, 04:54:12 pm »
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Home Technology Amazon sued for recording children’s voices via Alexa
Amazon sued for recording children’s voices via Alexa
June 17, 2019
In a lawsuit, Amazon has been sued by a woman from Massachusetts on behalf of her 10 year old daughter and children from eight other states is also seeking to take legal actions against the eCommerce giant Amazon for recording and storing the voices of children without their or their parent’s permission. Filed in a “Federal court in Seattle the lawsuit accuses Amazon of saving voice prints of millions of children by unlawfully recording their conversations around Alexa enabled smart devices” Vox news reported on Friday.
The woman has said that Amazon illegally recorded the voice of children and added them to “a massive database of billions of voice recordings that also contains the private details of millions of Americans”. Two cases were filed against amazon. One case was filed in Seattle federal court on the behalf of a 10 year old girl and the other in Los Angeles state court on behalf an 8 year old boy.
Both cases claims that the kids were using an Echo Dot which is Amazon’s most popular smart speaker with that exceeds sales of 50 million units.The complaint says that children cannot consent to be recorded and do not comprehend the “potentially invasive uses of big data by a company the size of Amazon” and that they “use Alexa without any understanding or warning that Amazon is recording and voice-printing them” the report said. The girl from Massachusetts is a registered user of Alexa. Amazon countered that it has “strict measures and protocols in place to protect ‘family’ security and privacy.” And in a statement to The Post it specifically addressed customers with kids.“We offer FreeTime on Alexa a free service that provides parental controls and ways for families to learn and have fun together” it said.
The Seattle case wants damages up to $100 a day and the California case asks for damages of $5000 per violation.
“Customers set up their Echo devices and we give them easy to use tools to manage them including the ability to review and delete the voice recordings associated with their account” an amazon spokesperson as said. He also mentioned “a company blog post that discusses Amazon FreeTime a dedicated service launched in 2012 to help parents manage the ways their kids interact with technology including limiting screen time.
“This is not the first time that amazon was charged of violating kids privacy with Alexa.
Earlier in May US Senators,a group of 19 consumers and public health advocates accused Amazon for recording and storing the conversations that take place around it’s smart speakers, recommending the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate into the case.Fighting privacy concerns and data collection suspicions in may amazon added support for new voice commands that let users ask Alexa to delete previous voice recordings.To ensure security and privacy of users amazon will be launching ‘Alexa Privacy Hub’ which is supposed to offer an easy way to learn how Alexa works and find privacy controls. Both cases demand that Amazon should acquire permission before recording minors voices and must delete the existing recordings of them. The lawsuits could create a bad effect for Amazon as it markets it’s Alexa speakers including kid’s. The company on Monday updated it’s Echo Dot Kids Edition which was made specially for children.
Be sure to slide the photo-slide Three (3) photos attached!!
See also: https://www.fusioncash.net/forum.php?topic=86310.msg1217370#msg1217370
This one is locked in the forum, but addresses an adult breach on these smart speakers!
* Alexa.jpg (11.7 kB, 300x168 - viewed 0 times.)
« Last Edit: July 04, 2019, 04:58:58 pm by calendria »
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Posts: 1253 (since 2017)
Amazon's Alexa Eavesdropped and Shared the Chat, Report Says
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2018, 01:35:54 am »
(Bloomberg) — A couple’s private conversation was mysteriously recorded by their Amazon Echo device and sent to one of their contacts, igniting privacy concerns about the voice-activated gadgets the online retailer wants to make as commonplace in homes as televisions.
The two found about it when they received a phone call two weeks ago from one of the husband’s employees telling them to "Unplug your Alexa devices right now. You’re being hacked," news station KIRO 7 reported. Amazon.com Inc. said in a statement to the station that it was an "extremely rare occurrence."
The Portland, Oregon, couple used Amazon’s voice-activated devices throughout their home to control heat, lights and the security system, according to the news report. Amazon in 2014 introduced the new line of devices, which can also stream music and order goods from Amazon via voice command. It has been busy introducing updated versions and adding features to sell more devices than rivals like Alphabet Inc. and Apple Inc., which offer their own versions.
Voice-activated assistants like the Echo and Google Home have gone mainstream. More than 60 million U.S. consumers will use a smart speaker at least once a month this year, with more than 40 million of them using Amazon’s devices, according to eMarketer Inc.
But Amazon’s lead in the market is slipping. The company shipped 2.5 million Echo devices globally in the first quarter compared with 3.2 million Google devices shipped in the same period, according to research firm Canalys.
People have been willing to overlook glitches in the Echo, like it turning on accidentally or without the wake word being uttered, said Ryan Calo, an associate law professor at the University of Washington who researches how law applies to technology. This incident is more alarming since a private conversation was recorded and sent to a third party, he said.
"Think about how uncomfortable the millions of people who own these things now feel," Calo said. "The real harm is the invasion into solitude people now experience in their homes."
It’s difficult to determine based on Amazon’s limited response if the Oregon couple’s device was hacked or if the incident was a software bug, said Daniel Kahn Gillmor, a technologist with the American Civil Liberties Union. Some manufacturers are responding to heightened consumer sensitivities about privacy by building devices that have physical switches to turn off sensors such as cameras and microphones, he said.
"We’ve invited these systems into our lives in ways that we are only beginning to see the negative consequences for," Gillmor said. "There are situations where we don’t need to have these things. A lot of people got the Echo because they feel like it’s this magic thing. Maybe the magic isn’t worth it."