The Echo Look is the next version of the Alexa appliance: it has an camera hooked up to a computer vision system, along with its always-on mic, and the first application for it is to watch you as you dress and give you fashion advice (that is, recommend clothes you can order from Amazon).
Amazon has announced it will store audio and video from your bedroom forever, or until you explicitly delete them.
More than anything, this is evidence of the bitter rivalry between Amazon and Netflix: evidently, that rivalry extends to not ever, ever watching Black Mirror, not even a single episode.
Motherboard also asked if Echo Look photos, videos, and the data gleaned from them would be sold to third parties; the company did not address that question.
As technosociologist Zeynep Tufekci points out, machine learning combined with full-length photos and videos have at least the potential to be used for much more than selling you clothes or serving you ads. Amazon will have the capability to detect if you're pregnant and may be able to learn if you're depressed. Her whole thread is worth reading.
Amazon Wants to Put a Camera and Microphone in Your Bedroom
Eleanor Saitta's (previously) 2016 essay "Coercion-Resistant Design" (which is new to me) is an excellent introduction to the technical countermeasures that systems designers can employ to defeat non-technical, legal attacks: for example, the threat of prison if you don't back-door your product.
For decades, people (including me) have predicted that cyberinsurers might be a way to get companies to take security seriously. After all, insurers have to live in the real world (which is why terrorism insurance is cheap, because terrorism is not a meaningful risk in America), and in the real world, poor security practices destroy […]
The Canadian activist group Open Privacy Research Society has discovered that Vancouver, BC hospitals routinely wirelessly broadcast patient telemetry and admissions data, without encryption to doctor paging systems. It is trivial to intercept these transmission.
Life isn’t getting any less hectic, and pressure cookers are a quick, healthy solution for a growing number of kitchens. But if you thought your Instant Pot was versatile, there’s a major upgrade on the market: The Yedi 9-in-1 Total Package Instant Programmable Pressure Cooker. If you’ve somehow never used a pressure cooker before, try […]
When it comes to data analytics or deep learning, there’s one language behind the apps and algorithms that power the biggest companies of today: Python. The best part about this tool is that as versatile as it is, it’s actually fairly easy to learn. But mastery? For that, you need more than just a beginners’ […]
Your smartphone’s GPS is a modern necessity for some trips, but how do you use it safely? It’s been a problem ever since phones went mobile. A certain phone mount even shelled out the money for a commercial during the Big Game, so clearly there’s a market for the solution. Turns out there are a […]