For decades the standard for evaluating whether to break up monopolies, or block the mergers that create them, has been “consumer welfare.” And this consumer welfare standard has predominantly been interpreted as low prices.
You can still speak to the digital assistants embedded in these devices, but their screens enable hands-free video calling (apart from the Google one), can act as a control pad for various smart devices you may have around your home, such as thermostats or security cameras and (this feature is on heavy rotation in all the promotional material) you can use them to prompt you through a recipe without resorting to smearing your buttery fingers over your phone or laptop.
is the least trustworthy of all major tech companies when it comes to safeguarding user data, according to a new national poll conducted for Fortune, highlighting the major challenges the company faces following a series of recent privacy blunders.
A judge has ordered Amazon to turn over recordings that might have been captured by an Echo smart speaker in the Farmington house where two women were stabbed to death in January 2017.
Amazon marketed its facial recognition tools to Orlando’s police department, providing tens of thousands of dollars of technology to the city at no cost, and shielding the Rekognition pilot with a mutual nondisclosure agreement that kept its details out of the public eye.
An unlikely alliance of tech companies, start-ups and digital consumer rights groups has locked horns with the Australian government over its proposed anti-data encryption law, currently under review by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS).
The official statement read in part: “the City of Orlando will continue to test Amazon Rekognition facial recognition software to determine if this technology could reliably identify specific individuals as they come within view of specific cameras.” The documents obtained by Buzzfeed provide a look behind the curtain at communications between the company and the police department, as Orlando’s test pilot was thrust into the national spotlight.
The documents, obtained by BuzzFeed News via a Freedom of Information request, show that Amazon marketed its facial recognition tools to Orlando’s police department, providing tens of thousands of dollars of technology to the city at no cost, and shielding the Rekognition pilot with a mutual nondisclosure agreement that kept its details out of the public eye.
According to a new report by the security researchers at UpGuard, a Washington-based ISP by the name of Pocket iNet left 73 gigabytes of essential operational data publicly exposed in a misconfigured Amazon S3 storage bucket for months.
A group of over 400 employees signed a letter in June urging Amazon to stop selling its facial recognition software to law enforcement and working with Palantir, which provides digital services to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
It’s an example of how manufacturers can build voice-controlled devices using the Alexa Connect Kit, “without worrying about managing cloud services, writing an Alexa skill, or developing complex networking and security firmware,” as Amazon says.
Amazon has patented a new version of its virtual assistant Alexa which can automatically detect when you’re ill and offer to sell you medicine. Alexa first suggests some chicken soup to cure her cold, and then offers to order cough drops on Amazon.
At a press event last month, an Amazon engineer showed how easily a maker of household fans could create a “smart” fan using Amazon’s chip, known as the Alexa Connect Kit. The kit, which Amazon is testing with some manufacturers, would simply be plugged into the fan’s control unit during assembly.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon employees have been bribed to leak corporate data - such as sales metrics and the personal details of reviewers - to sellers:
And maybe, just maybe, that’s because most consumers have given up on the idea of privacy in our times — or believe that the risk-reward balance of technologies like Alexa tilt in the direction of our new artificially intelligent overlords.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, which did not give figures, employees of the e-retailer sell internal data and other confidential information – usually through intermediaries – to merchants who sell their goods on the US giant's website.
Even if you're using your device to make purchases, Williams adds, your credit card information isn't stored on the smart speaker but accessed through the servers of Google or Amazon, meaning it would require a vulnerability of the company's system at large for that information to be hacked.
As Amazon rightly notes, this shows the critical importance of choosing appropriate confidence levels when deploying facial recognition systems – something that is rarely discussed.
If Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft Azure allow domain fronting with TLS 1.3, censorship countries like China are faced with a binary choice. The problem is that Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud currently do not allow domain fronting.