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Tag Archives for " Amazon "

Amazon Faces EU Inquiry Over Data From Independent Sellers

European antitrust regulators have opened an investigation into the data that Amazon uses from third-party sellers who rely on the tech company’s site.

The European Union’s top antitrust regulator said on Wednesday that it had opened a formal antitrust investigation into whether Amazon was using the third-party data to promote its own products at the expense of other retailers.

Regulators said they were examining whether Amazon was hurting competition by abusing its dual role as a retailer that sells its own goods and a marketplace where other merchants sell products.

Source: Amazon Faces E.U. Inquiry Over Data From Independent Sellers – The New York Times

Amazon’s helping police build a surveillance network with Ring doorbells

While residential neighborhoods aren’t usually lined with security cameras, the smart doorbell’s popularity has essentially created private surveillance networks powered by Amazon and promoted by police departments.

Police departments across the country, from major cities like Houston to towns with fewer than 30,000 people, have offered free or discounted Ring doorbells to citizens, sometimes using taxpayer funds to pay for Amazon’s products. While Ring owners are supposed to have a choice on providing police footage, in some giveaways, police require recipients to turn over footage when requested.

Source: Amazon’s helping police build a surveillance network with Ring doorbells – CNET

Amazon now lets you tell Alexa to delete your voice recordings

You’ll now be able to say, “Alexa, delete everything I said today.”

Amazon stores recordings of every request you’ve made to an Alexa device (theoretically, to help improve the voice recognition service and other features). Despite this being largely unnecessary, Amazon doesn’t provide a way to disable the long-term storage of voice recordings or have them deleted on a regular basis.

Full article: Amazon now lets you tell Alexa to delete your voice recordings – The Verge

Amazon staff listen to customers’ Alexa recordings

Staff review audio in effort to help AI-powered voice assistant respond to commands.

When Amazon customers speak to Alexa, the company’s AI-powered voice assistant, they may be heard by more people than they expect, according to a report. Amazon employees around the world regularly listen to recordings from the company’s smart speakers as part of the development process for new services.

Source: Amazon staff listen to customers’ Alexa recordings, report says

Why facial recognition’s racial bias problem is so hard to crack

Nearly 40 percent of the false matches by Amazon’s facial recognition tool, which is being used by police, involved people of color.

Tech companies have responded to the criticism by improving the data used to train their facial recognition systems, but they’re also calling for more government regulation to help safeguard the technology from being abused.

Source: Why facial recognition’s racial bias problem is so hard to crack – CNET

A.I. Experts Question Amazon’s Facial-Recognition Technology

At least 25 prominent researchers are calling on the company to stop selling the technology to law enforcement agencies, citing concerns that it has built-in biases.

Amazon sells a product called Rekognition through its cloud-computing division, Amazon Web Services. The company said last year that early customers included the Orlando Police Department in Florida and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon.

Source: A.I. Experts Question Amazon’s Facial-Recognition Technology – The New York Times

Think about privacy the next time you ask Alexa the weather

More and more people are starting to think twice before asking Alexa for the daily forecast. According to a recent PwC survey, 38 percent of participants chose not to purchase a smart device because they “don’t want something listening in on [their lives] all the time.” Additionally, 28 percent of respondents are “concerned about privacy issues with [their] data/security.”

Full article: Think about privacy the next time you ask Alexa the weather

Facial recognition: Apple, Amazon, Google and the race for your face

Facial recognition is a blossoming field of technology that is at once exciting and problematic. If you’ve ever unlocked your iPhone by looking at it, or asked Facebook or Google to go through an unsorted album and show you pictures of your kids, you’ve seen facial recognition in action.

But at the very least, facial recognition raises questions of privacy. Experts have concerns ranging from the overreach of law enforcement, to systems with hidden racial biases, to hackers gaining access to your secure information.

Full article: Facial recognition: Apple, Amazon, Google and the race for your face – CNET

Amazon Is Pushing Facial Technology That a Study Says Could Be Biased

Over the last two years, Amazon has aggressively marketed its facial recognition technology to police departments and federal agencies as a service to help law enforcement identify suspects more quickly.

However, in new tests, Amazon’s system had more difficulty identifying the gender of female and darker-skinned faces than similar services from IBM and Microsoft.

Source: Amazon Is Pushing Facial Technology That a Study Says Could Be Biased – The New York Times

Facebook and Google back changes to laws which break encryption

Industry groups including the representative of tech giants Facebook, Google, Twitter and Amazon, have backed several Labor amendments to the Australia’s encryption bill.

Under Labor’s plan, law enforcement agencies would require a fresh warrant before ordering tech companies to assist or build a new capability to access electronic communications and the bill’s prohibition against creating a “systemic weakness” would be strengthened.

Source: Facebook and Google back Labor changes to laws which break encryption | Technology | The Guardian

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