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Tag Archives for " Amazon "

Ring’s work with police lacks solid evidence of reducing crime

Amazon pushes Ring as a crime-fighting tool. Data from three of Ring’s earliest police partnerships doesn’t back up that claim.

The data shows that crime continued to fluctuate, and analysts said that while many factors affect crime rates, such as demographics, median income and weather, Ring’s technology likely wasn’t one of them.

Source: Ring’s work with police lacks solid evidence of reducing crime – CNET

Max Schrems files complaint against Amazon

Max Schrems, head of None Of Your Business (noyb), has announced the not-for-profit organisation is to file a complaint to the German data protection authority over data protection standards at Amazon.

According to the NGO, Amazon is at fault due to a major lapse in data security. Noyb maintains that Amazon is in breach of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) because its email servers, used to support direct communication between third-party sellers on the platform and consumers, do not accommodate baseline industry encryption in some instances.

Source: #Privacy: Max Schrems files complaint against Amazon

EU to police digital assistants

European Union privacy watchdogs are gearing up to police digital assistants after revelations that Amazon.com Inc. workers listened in on people’s conversations with their Alexa digital assistants.

EU regulators are now working on a common approach on how to police the technology. But the move toward common guidelines for digital assistants means companies should avoid fines — for now.

Source: Amazon Alexa Eavesdropping Spurs EU-Wide Privacy Safeguards – Bloomberg

Civil rights groups push Congress to probe Amazon on privacy issues

A dozen civil rights groups are banding together in an effort to push federal lawmakers to investigate Amazon over its privacy practices.

Amazon is already under pressure from antitrust investigations, and it’s facing growing scrutiny on the privacy front amid revelations of Ring’s work with police agencies as well as concerns about the company’s Rekognition facial recognition software.

Source: Civil rights groups push Congress to probe Amazon on privacy issues – Axios

Security researchers expose new Alexa and Google Home vulnerability

Security researchers with SRLabs have disclosed a new vulnerability affecting both Google and Amazon smart speakers that could allow hackers to eavesdrop on or even phish unsuspecting users.

By uploading a malicious piece of software disguised as an innocuous Alexa Skill or Google Action, the researchers showed how you can get the smart speakers to silently record users, or even ask them for the password to their Google account. There’s no evidence that this vulnerability has been exploited in the real world, however, and SRLabs disclosed their findings to both Amazon and Google before making them public.

Source: Security researchers expose new Alexa and Google Home vulnerability – The Verge

Amazon is writing facial recognition law

Amazon’s Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said the company’s public policy team is working on proposed regulations around facial recognition, a fledgling technology that has drawn criticism of the technology giant’s cloud computing unit.

Critics have pointed to technology from Amazon and others that struggled to identify the gender of individuals with darker skin in recent studies. That has prompted fears of unjust arrests if the technology is used by more law enforcement agencies to identify suspects.

Source: Amazon CEO says company working on facial recognition regulations – Reuters

Amazon announces privacy updates as its devices expand deeper into the home

Amazon will introduce a new privacy feature for the smart doorbells of its subsidiary Ring called “Home Mode”, which will prevent the doorbell cameras from recording footage when residents are home. Earlier this year, Amazon rolled out “privacy zones” which exclude selected areas in Ring’s field of vision from being recorded or viewed live.

The changes come as Amazon has faced scrutiny for recording customer conversations through Alexa and its public-private partnership with police forces through a smart doorbell company.

Source: Amazon announces privacy updates as its devices expand deeper into the home | Technology | The Guardian

Amazon testing payment system that uses hands as ID

Forget the titanium Apple Card — Amazon’s latest payment method uses flesh and blood.

The e-tailing giant’s engineers are quietly testing scanners that can identify an individual human hand as a way to ring up a store purchase, with the goal of rolling them out at its Whole Foods supermarket chain in the coming months.

Source: Amazon testing payment system that uses hands as ID

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

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