Dispose of your Amazon Alexa products if you care for your privacy
After the astonishing revelation that users were being monitored via the commands, they gave their Amazon Alexa device in the name of product improvement comes the newest in a long string of privacy infringement accusations.
The latest information available about the always-on microphone that we have at our residences is that it can enable Amazon to easily discover any users home address. This disturbing information comes to light after unnamed Amazon employees spoke to Bloomberg about the situation.
They claim that: All team members with access to Alexa users’ geographic coordinates can easily type them into third-party mapping software and find home residences, according to the employees, who signed nondisclosure agreements barring them from speaking publicly about the program. While there have not been any direct cases of Amazon employees or contractors actually abusing this power and tracking down these users to their homes, Bloomberg does point out that it gives all those employees with “unnecessarily broad access to customer data.”
Surprisingly, Amazon has not denied that its employees can easily locate users but downplays the significance of Thursdays discover. An Amazon spokesperson in a private statement to Gizmodo said: “Access to internal tools is highly controlled, and is only granted to a limited number of employees who require these tools to train and improve the service by processing an extremely small sample of interactions,”. Suspiciously, Amazon has not specified what is the number of employees that “limited number” entails, according to Bloomberg it may well be in the thousands.
The dilemma that most people are today put in is one that is curated by ourselves. Alexa technology is a product that is practical and helpful in its function. But it comes at the cost of a certain amount of our freedom. The question now is if we are ready to overlook and belittle our privacy for some convenience instead.