Facial Recognition Faces More Proposed Bans Across U.S.

Facial Recognition Faces More Proposed Bans Across U.S.

THE INSTITUTESeveral companies, including Amazon and Clarifai, are working to create reliable facial recognition technology for use by government agencies and law enforcement to catch criminals and find missing children. This month, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban the use of facial recognition technology by its police force and city agencies.

An Open Letter to Amazon Shareholders

An Open Letter to Amazon Shareholders

A unified chorus of civil rights organizations, AI experts, customers, Amazon employees, academics, impacted communities, and members of Congress has warned about the dangers of government face surveillance and the company’s product, Rekognition.

Gmail tracks all your purchases, it is difficult to delete them and impossible to stop

Gmail tracks all your purchases, it is difficult to delete them and impossible to stop

Google uses its email service Gmail to track purchases that customers of the company made, even on third-party websites like Amazon. Google uses its email service Gmail to track purchases that customers of the company made, even on third-party websites like Amazon.

Google uses Gmail to track a history of things you buy — and it's hard to delete

Google uses Gmail to track a history of things you buy — and it's hard to delete

Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Google, is sworn in during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018.Google tracks a lot of what you buy, even if you purchased it elsewhere, like in a store or from Amazon.

Amazon rolls out Alexa Guard, to help protect your home while you’re out

Amazon rolls out Alexa Guard, to help protect your home while you’re out

Amazon announced this morning that it has begun to roll out Alexa Guard to all Echo customers in the U.S. The feature lets the company’s line of smart home products double as home security devices while the user is out.

Facial Recognition Tech Tested By UK Police Was Wrong 96% Of The Time According To Big Brother Watch

Facial Recognition Tech Tested By UK Police Was Wrong 96% Of The Time According To Big Brother Watch

The technology currently has a lot of problems; Activist Post recently reported how Amazon’s own facial “Rekognition” software erroneously and hilariously identified 28 members of Congress as people who have been arrested for crimes according to the ACLU.

Only a small percentage of users buys stuff through Alexa, report claims

Only a small percentage of users buys stuff through Alexa, report claims

with 85 posters participating Analysts have been aggressively optimistic in their predictions about the growth of consumer shopping via virtual assistants like Amazon's Alexa, but a new report claims that only a small fraction of Alexa device owners shop with voice commands.

Amazon Alexa transcripts live on, even after you delete voice records

Amazon Alexa transcripts live on, even after you delete voice records

Facebook said it deletes the data and transcribed text for its smart assistant when it's activated through the wake word "Hey Portal." Beyond the data transcribed from a person's voice commands to Alexa, Amazon also noted that it stored text data on the smart assistant's responses.

Big tech has spent $582M lobbying Congress. Here’s where that money went

Big tech has spent $582M lobbying Congress. Here’s where that money went

Facebook and Google, for instance, frequently talked about privacy, while Apple was the only of the five to lobby to preserve “technical barriers to trade,” mentioning it in 21 percent of their reports.

Amazon accused of using Echo Dot Kids to illegally collect data on children

Amazon accused of using Echo Dot Kids to illegally collect data on children

A coalition of 19 consumer and privacy groups plans to file a complaint Thursday alleging that Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids Edition is illegally collecting voice recordings and other identifying information on users under 13 and that the system’s parental controls are flawed.

Huawei Mediapad M5 found to be snooping on en...

Huawei Mediapad M5 found to be snooping on en...

The engineer said that most of the software pre-installed on his Huawei device is sending data to an organization in China called Shanghai Dnion Information Technology Co, Ltd, which is located at Rm.531, Floor 5, North Third Ring Road, No.27, Shangfang Building, Beijing.

Privacy Experts, Senators Demand Investigation of Amazon’s Child Data Collection Practices

Privacy Experts, Senators Demand Investigation of Amazon’s Child Data Collection Practices

For example, the Privacy Notice discloses that Amazon collects “search term and search result information from some searches conducted through the Web search features offered by our subsidiary, Alexa Internet,” but it does not say whether it does so when a child is using the Echo Dot Kids Edition.

Alexa has been eavesdropping on you this whole time

Alexa has been eavesdropping on you this whole time

Amazon acknowledges it collects data about third-party devices even when you don't use Alexa to operate them. It says Alexa needs to know the "state" of your devices "to enable a great smart home experience."

What Amazon knows about you

What Amazon knows about you

Fire tablets : Amazon's tablets run a custom version of Android, providing the company with lots of data since it, not Google, powers the browsing and app store on the devices. Amazon also offers an option to delete the Alexa recordings it has made.

A US police force is running suspect sketches through Amazon's facial recognition tech and it could lead to wrongful arrests

A US police force is running suspect sketches through Amazon's facial recognition tech and it could lead to wrongful arrests

Police in Washington County are running sketches of suspects through Amazon's facial recognition software, The Washington Post reports. AI experts told the Post that using a sketch could increase the likelihood of a false match, a sentiment which was echoed by Privacy International's Frederike Kaltheuner when contacted by Business Insider.

Amazon's facial-recognition technology is supercharging local police

Amazon's facial-recognition technology is supercharging local police

Then, in late 2017, the Washington County Sheriff's Office became the first law enforcement agency in the country known to use Amazon's artificial-intelligence tool Rekognition, transforming this thicket of forests and suburbs into a public testing ground for a new wave of experimental police surveillance techniques.

The “Always Listening” Virtual Assistants and Threats to Privacy

The “Always Listening” Virtual Assistants and Threats to Privacy

A team of researchers examined the phonetic abilities of Google Home and Amazon Alexa and found that it’s possible to mimic legit voice commands to carry out a cyber-attack.

The Terrible Truth About Alexa

The Terrible Truth About Alexa

It’s starting to feel like Alexa and other voice assistants are destined to spy on us because that’s how the system was designed to work. In the Alexa privacy settings, you can opt out of letting Amazon use your recordings to develop new features and improve transcriptions.

If You Care About Privacy, Throw Your Amazon Alexa Devices Into the Sea

If You Care About Privacy, Throw Your Amazon Alexa Devices Into the Sea

Bloomberg makes clear that there haven’t been any reports of Amazon employees or contractors actually abusing this power and tracking down users at home.

E-readers reading your reading: A serious invasion of privacy?

E-readers reading your reading: A serious invasion of privacy?

I feel there are bigger things to worry about than whether Kobo knows what page of Fifty Shades (no, not really) I'm currently on, or if the Amazon lot are astonished to see that not only has my husband got all the paper editions of the George RR Martin books, but he's just bought them all as ebooks as well as they were "too heavy to carry to work".

Amazon as a Vector

Amazon as a Vector

While platforms like Amazon have cornered markets through long-term investment strategies and developing itself as a utility[9], a central cog in the systems of e-commerce and retail, this doesn’t beget issues of public trust and the increasing complexity from running these multiple lines.

Washington state’s data privacy bill, supported by Microsoft, dies as key players fail to reach compromise

Washington state’s data privacy bill, supported by Microsoft, dies as key players fail to reach compromise

Efforts to enact new data privacy regulations in Washington state failed this week as legislators and tech titans Amazon and Microsoft failed to reach a compromise before the deadline. State Sen. Reuven Carlyle sponsored the bill and vowed to revive the effort to enact new privacy regulations in 2020.

Privacy 2019: Tor, Meek & The Rise And Fall Of Domain Fronting

Privacy 2019: Tor, Meek & The Rise And Fall Of Domain Fronting

This allowed the creation of meek bridge relays on large clouds such as Google App Engine, Amazon CloudFront/EC2 and Microsoft Azure, hiding the actual target hostname behind domains such as , or various static asset CDNs. Domain fronting was nothing short of revolutionary for Tor users in high-risk countries.

As cashless stores grow, so does the backlash

As cashless stores grow, so does the backlash

Before this year there was only one jurisdiction that required businesses to accept cash: Massachusetts, which passed a law nearly 40 years ago.“The potential societal cost of a cashless economy I think outweighs the potential benefits for businesses,” said Ritchie Torres, a New York City councilman for the South Bronx who introduced the bill.

Microsoft, Amazon are the last bidders standing for the $10 billion DoD JEDI cloud contract

Microsoft, Amazon are the last bidders standing for the $10 billion DoD JEDI cloud contract

U.S. Department of Defense officials have decided this week that the only two cloud vendors able to meet their requirements for a huge, winner-take-all project are Amazon and Microsoft. Google dropped out of the JEDI bidding last year, acknowledging it couldn't meet the requirements (and citing its AI principles, as well).

Amazon staff listen to customers' Alexa recordings, report says

Amazon staff listen to customers' Alexa recordings, report says

Amazon employees around the world regularly listen to recordings from the company’s smart speakers as part of the development process for new services, Bloomberg News reports.

How to Stop Amazon From Listening to Your Alexa Recordings

How to Stop Amazon From Listening to Your Alexa Recordings

According to a Bloomberg report , Amazon employs thousands of workers to transcribe recordings of Alexa users for the purpose of improving the voice assistant's recognition algorithm. You can review a number of things here, including our voice history, skill permissions, and other data settings.

Smart speaker recordings reviewed by humans

Smart speaker recordings reviewed by humans

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod speakers According to Apple's security policy, voice recordings lack personally identifiable information and are linked to a random ID number, which is reset every time Siri is switched off.

Thousands of Amazon employees are listening to your Alexa conversations

Thousands of Amazon employees are listening to your Alexa conversations

An investigation by Bloomberg has revealed that Amazon has a global team that transcribes and annonates Alexa recordings from around to world to "eliminate gaps in Alexa's understanding of human speech" and allow the assistant to serve up better responses to your queries.

Amazon’s Alexa can handle patient information now — what does that mean for privacy?

Amazon’s Alexa can handle patient information now — what does that mean for privacy?

In the case of Livongo, the company whose voice skill lets users check their blood sugar reading, Alexa is mostly a way to transmit the information.

More