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Think Twice! Amazon Echo Look
by Daniel Newman | May 10, 2017
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Over the past year we have seen tremendous growth in AI assistants moving into the home. “Alexa, turn on the TV,” is one of many commands that Alexa can obey as the movement toward electronic devices in our homes to help simplify our lives has caught fire. Alexa is always ready for your commands—as any good assist would be—and always listening—kinda creepy, or is it?

Data has shown that as many as 50 new digital assistants for the home are being shipped every minute, so this growth is certainly exponential and the desire to put this type of technology in our homes shows that we have little fear of the privacy intrusion; a trend that has been quite obvious as we look at the way humans interact with social media and apps on their mobile devices.

To be listened to is one thing. And we know that the device listens to us actively because we have even seen Alexa subpoena’d in court to help solve crime. But what about seeing us as well? If it isn’t intrusive enough to have a device that can listen to our every word and record it to the cloud so advertisers can better target us (in case you didn’t know). What about having a device in our homes that can see us?

That is exactly what Amazon is doing with their new “Amazon Echo Look.” Being sold under the onus of offering real time fashion consultation to its users, the Echo Look is designed to be placed in our closets or changing areas so we can use our assistant to help us pick out the right shirt, shoes, or accessories to go with our outfit.

While it is being sold for that purpose, Amazon also has not denied that they will collect data and store it in the cloud. This data will not be limited in anyway, however, the user can choose to delete data if they prefer to do so. Also, Amazon has said the data will not be used for third-party advertisers, but it explicitly says in the privacy agreement that they can use the data for directly marketing to users via Amazon.

Even as a tech person, my gut reaction is that these devices are crossing a line that people will want to be careful toeing. Having this kind of personal and sensitive data in the cloud is something most should consider strongly, and realize that as privacy policies change, Amazon will have a whole bunch more data to use to advertise and to sell to you if they so choose.

For me, it’s a no, but if you are going to take advantage of what Amazon Echo Look is offering, be sure to know what you are signing up for. Because…They’ll be watching you!

Photo Credit: trendnewsb Flickr via Compfight cc

About the Author

Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. Read Full Bio