Thursday, December 18, 2014

2373 Echo-Illogical

I know I'm more obsessed with privacy than your ordinary paranoid. Maybe because my big brother and I shared a bedroom when we were growing up and he'd always eavesdrop on me. When he told his friends, it'd get all over school.

So whenever I hear about new spying technologies it bugs me. Like Twitter's recent announcement that their app would now be able to rove around your smartphone and check out your other apps. So it could tailor a more pleasant advertising experience for you, of course. They're so thoughtful.

Twitter isn't the first at this. Other apps have been doing it secretly for years. Free Flashlight apps are the worst. They don't just light up your room, they shine a little light into the dark secret corners of your smartphone too.

Remember, if it's free, you're not the customer, you're the product.

So when I saw Amazon's new Smart Speaker innovation for the home I naturally got suspicious. It's called The Echo. And its job is supposedly to act like a home Siri, ready to answer questions, provide news updates, and set personal reminders. 

It uses far-field microphones to pick up distant voice commands. So you can say, "Remind me to buy some Cheetos," or "What's a hen weigh?" while you're standing across the room. Amazon says you just need to utter the word Alexa and it'll turn itself on. It'll adapt itself to your preferences too. And, oh yeah, it's connected to the cloud. 

You know, the cloud that got hacked for nude celebrity pictures. The one that hackers used to bring down Sony. And NSA and the Russians use to remotely turn on computers. 

How convenient. For only 200 bucks you can voluntarily bug your own home.

Big Brother's going like this...

America, ya gotta love it. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh no! Do those free flashlights really spy on everything on my iPhone? Sh**. The lights in my bedroom -and only the bedroom have been going off frequently late at night while I am reading. In my new home. Well, my handi iPhone flashlight gets me to the control box-or whatever it's called to flick the switch. What info about me is being sent to whom by my "free" flashlight? Now I am freaked out! I wouldn't buy a TV that I know must watch me.. Or listen to me. I think I know better than that... But... The flashlight? Dam********. Now of all things, I have to prove I am not a robot by checking the "I am not a robot" box. Weirder than Old Maids. Had a bunch of those last night! Keep up the good work! As always, you brighten my day!