RalphAlsip wrote:There is great potential for both good & bad from this technology.
As is true of all technology, including email, cell phones, wired phones, telegrams, paper mail, human messengers and yelling out your window.
Cell phone is the only one I would put in the same category as a voice assistant for passive snooping.
The privacy genie is probably so far out the bottle it can never be put back in. There was an article published recently about personal injury lawyers contacting numerous individuals whose mobile phones were tracked to being in hospital emergency rooms. There is speculation that the Weather App was collecting location information and selling it.
Amazon Web Services offers a facial recognition API (an API is a technical way to make information available). Amazon also provides the voice assistant Alexa. Who knows what Facebook and Google are providing to an Amazon database.
Let's assume Ralph Alsip's photo was posted on Facebook and the photo was "tagged" as Ralph Alsip. The act of tagging links a picture to a name and to a specific person. Then Facebook sells Ralph's face and link to Ralph's identity to Amazon and this is stored in Amazon's facial recognition database. Let's also assume Ralph has an Alexa device. In a casual living room conversation in the privacy of Ralph's home between Ralph and his wife, Ralph mentioned he would like to buy a red sweater to wear on Valentine's day. Ralph's Alexa device surreptitiously recorded this private conversation between Ralph and his wife and stored the conversation in an internet database. The next time Ralph uses his computer and visits an ad-supported web site, Ralph will see advertisements for red sweaters. The next time Ralph visits the local Sears store to look at pocket knives, the surveillance camera captures Ralph's face as Ralph walks into the store. Sears' surveillance system passes the customer's face to Amazon to see if there is a match in Amazon's facial recognition database. Sure enough there is - it is Ralph Alsip with 100% confidence because Ralph was identified in a Facebook post. Furthermore Amazon will tell Sears that Ralph wants to buy a red sweater. The Sears store will dispatch a Sales Associate to find Ralph and tell him about the great red sweaters they have just in time for Valentine's day.
Obviously, this is my creepy made up scenario. But if you take Sears out of story (lol) it becomes more plausible. Stuff like this is happening now and is only going to become more prevalent. Europe is starting to get aggressive on protecting individual's online data. https://www.cnet.com/how-to/what-gdpr-means-for-facebook-google-the-eu-us-and-you/
. There have already been several multi-Billion dollar fines levied from this regulation in Europe. As far as I know the fines are being paid with little significant impact to ongoing business for these companies. For the record, I don't completely trust the motivations of the EU in this matter either - I think they're more about making money themselves under the guise of protecting individual's rights.
Companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon are making tremendous
sums of money collecting and selling personal information. I'm against it... until I get compensated for the value of my personal information.
In my scenario, Sears would have paid Amazon to learn about Ralph's identity. Sears paid extra if Ralph bought a red sweater. Ralph didn't get a discount for his role in making this happen. Ralph was robbed of his personal information.