Amazon wants to deliver on privacy (The Daily Charge, 9/30/2019)
The Daily Charge
Today on The Daily charge, we're recapping everything we saw at last week's Amazon keynote.
Echo buds, echo frames, echo loop and the Amazon Studios smart speaker.
What are you adding to your Echo ecosystem?
Good morning and welcome to cnet's daily charge.
It's Monday, September 30th.
And I'm Bridget Carey.
Here are today's stories.
Amazon made several major announcements at its event in Seattle last week, but the focus for the tech giant was privacy.
Amazon's Hardware Chief David Limp opened up the launch event addressing the many privacy concerns that have surrounded the company since it launched its voice assistant Alexa Among those are new controls for Alexa Privacy, like auto deleting your recordings, better controls for the ring doorbell, making sure the voice the system doesn't activate at random times.
Like the many times i've said it on this show [LAUGH] do you trust any of these changes from amazon?
It sounds good, but then they are a business and they are still coming out with more gadgets to do listening things.
So I'm very skeptical.
So after spending a good.
Five minutes talking about privacy, he rest of the event was dedicated to announcing several ways that Amazon could listen to you and track you while you're out of the house.
That includes new products like Amazon's loop and frames, essentially an Alexa powered Ring and glasses where it was-
I heard you can call it ring, cuz they already have a company called ring.
So if you were worried about Amazon listening to you while you were at home, hey, how about taking that everywhere you go now.
So there's not much details on them yet, but the reporters were able to learn this from Amazon.
So They're not like iron man's glasses where you can see directions or displays or anything like that.
They're specifically focused on voice commands, they can make phone calls and they don't really have cameras or anything like that like the google glass did.
They also activate on awake word but unlike the echo, there's no light showing.
When it's recording, so I am very much looking forward to walking around and wearing this and seeing the wakeboard and just recording background conversations.
Thank you very much for this privacy focus tool, Amazon.
Are you interested at all in any of this, these glasses or this jewelry.
Glasses No, that's just that's just weird i mean i don't i if i need to like talk to Alexa for something I don't even have glasses on my face to do but the rain was like in this in between zone for me because at first I laughed I'm like okay, we're now creating you know hardware on our on RS jewelry.
Have we just given up and like ran out of ideas but wait a second.
Amazon did have that thing for the first fridge, it was like a magnet that was just.
No not the dash.>> It is kind of like the dash but it was just for your, it was like a magnent want where you, whenever I needed to remind myself to buy something I don't need just like milk and orange juice, I mean, like I need.
To get something off Amazon, it would just put the reminder in my cart to go search for it later.
And I thought, well, I'm a forgetful person, would I use this ring to be like, Amazon, give me a birthday gift for Joe or whatever it is.
But then also if it's a whole new meaning to it, like talk to the hand, like acting like an awkward person in public, like talking to your fingers.
I don't know, this is-
I mean there are wearable, like rings out there.
So motive has something where it's like a fitness tracker.
And MasterCard has made one for payment which I think is the more interesting play that.
Amazon could have done that.
That's their kind of bread and butter.
It doesn't really make that much sense for me to have it as a fit as a voice assistant on a ring with your phone is right there.
Like if you're gonna be wearing a ring to talk to it like just use your phone.
I don't know what like what they're thinking with that.
I am very concerned though about like the lack of fizz like.
Visible indicator of when it's recording.
Because there are concerns about when it's randomly activated.
Yeah, am I gonna easily hit that button just because I'm writing a note to somebody?
I wonder how it'll trigger.
So another surprise announcement from Amazon was the Amazon Sidewalk, which is essentially a mesh WiFi network that can extend the range of where you can control your IoT devices from.
Amazon said they tested this out with their employees in Los Angeles, and it was able to cast signals as far as a mile.
And basically continuing along to connect throughout the entire city.
One of the first tools they're rolling out for it is an internet connected dog collars so they could track use the mesh network to track lost animals for example.
Are you ready for the downside of it?
And so this becomes popular and again essentially becomes a network owned and operated by Amazon, spread throughout entire cities, where even if you don't connect to the WiFi, your phone has WiFi turned on it's working for networks, that's connected to before anything like that.
Gives Amazon your mac address and it tells them essentially This person was at this location around,
So I just walk around the neighborhood.
I don't know what house has Amazon on the sidewalk and suddenly I walk into their cloud and then Amazon bridges here.
So some businesses do this already, especially if you have an open Wi Fi in a coffee shop or something like that.
LinkNYC in New York has an open Wi-Fi network that they can basically track wherever you've been.
But considering the vast resources that Amazon has you can really see the potential for tracking behavior here from Amazon.
So after all this, does Amazon's promises on privacy sound as solid as what they started with at the beginning of the event?
We really care about you guys and knowing exactly what we're recording, and we're also now expanding outside your home and on your face and everywhere, but we care, we care.
It was so weird to me where it was like, okay we're gonna open, we take privacy extremely seriously.
Here's all these devices that can also listen to you now.
It it was such like a 180 for me.
It made no sense to me but you know cool gadgets are cool and people will buy them anyway.
So congratulations amazon.
The store online that actually isn't a physical store now has expanded its footprint beyond your home to the sidewalk and the lawn and the backyard and they're growing on your face and on your hand.
For the daily charge i'm Alfred Ng.
i'm Bridget Carey.
Thanks for joining us.
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