Amazonas Alexa becomes an integral part of our home and lifestyle. In fact, so many people have introduced Alexa in their lives that Amazon has released a "children's edition" of its popular Echo Dot – bringing the virtual assistant to rooms of children all over the world.
While Alexa may be useful for homework and music, the voice assistant's love of logging conversations cannot be too good with the parents. A recent FTC complaint filed by consumer advocacy groups only addresses that echo products collect voice recordings and personal information from children.
We've talked about Alexa's creepy listening habits before, but this latest controversy from The Digital Retail Giant makes the parents nervous about the right reasons. It's one thing when companies snoop on our data, but what can they possibly have from our kids?
Is Amazon Listening to Your Kids Through Alexa?
Earlier, Amazon has been called on how it handled stored data on its voice assist systems. In theory, the idea that recording is stored in the device is sent to Amazon for transcription, and entered into the algorithm to improve Alexa's speech recognition. This works on paper, but the ethics behind this process are at best questionable.
This is especially true of children who are not of age to consent to complex privacy agreements that Amazon provides as adults would. By offering "child-friendly" versions of its products, Amazon can create the same data harvesting strategy it does for adult customers.
This has obvious reasons parents and consumer defense groups up in arms about the direction Amazon has taken its technology in. Several organizations have banded together to file a 96-page complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to stop the Amazon's data collection from children once and for all.
How do I remove my child's information from Alexa?
As with regular Echo products, you need to sign in to your Amazon account and listen to saved recordings under your account's privacy settings. Doing so will disable parental controls and other features that make the device child-friendly. This question, why would Amazon itself release such a product in the first place?
Amazon claims that the device is in line with the Children & # 39; s Online Privacy Protection Act, but emphasizes that data collection is needed to improve Alexa products for future releases. All this seems a bit fished, but considers Amazon's former scuffles of controversy over data collection and targeted advertising.
Children, despite not having their own income, are the main advertising targets for toys, games and apparel companies. It is logical to assume that children's interaction patterns with Alexa can be a goldmine of valuable information for advertisers and marketing researchers.
It's not the first time in the story kids have been targeted (remember Joe Camel?) But it would rank among the least ethical. After all, if a child does not fully understand the implications of privacy, how can they make an informed decision to participate in a service listening to them.
At Komando.com we recommend you give Kid's Edition Echo Dot a pass to the FTC complaint coming out. We do not yet know the full consequences, and it is better to keep the children safe than to let them be guinea pigs for business executives.
Not to mention, I think some adults will get tired of watching games and video game ads On all banners they see online.
Alexa employees can see where you live
Recently, we discussed how Amazon employees manually review the content of interacting with Alexa, along with some of the disturbing details they have access to. Well, as history continues to unfold, we have learned even more about how much data these hidden employees hold. As it turns out, Alexa saves placement data about its users, and Amazon employees have access to one of the most sensitive parts of information you own: your home address.
Tap or click to see what else Amazon knows. [1