NortonLifeLock Privacy Watch

NortonLifeLock Privacy Watch

This blog aims to provide timely updates on the latest privacy trends for individuals concerned about protecting personal information. The inclusion of products, websites, apps, or links does not imply endorsement or support of any company, product, material and/or provider listed herein.

  1. Amazon continues to enjoy growing popularity for its Amazon Echo, the Alexa voice assistant and Ring, its internet-connected home-security camera company. But that success also raises no shortage of privacy concerns about the amount of personal data Amazon controls as well as its ability to keep it secure.
  2. We live in an Alexa World and you’re just along for the ride - even if you didn’t know it. Users now freely engage with Amazon’s voice assistant but there’s still little public understanding about what Amazon does with that information. The details spelling all this out are buried deep within their terms and conditions or in hard-to-find settings. Even tech-savvy users don’t necessarily know the full extent of the privacy issues.
  3. More recently, the UK’s National Health Service inked a deal allowing medical advice to be provided via the Echo. No specific patient data is being shared with Amazon by NHS and this agreement could help further the number of ways the UK’s citizens can access publicly available information like the NHS website or phone line 111.

What they're saying:

“Amazon does not build customer health profiles based on interactions with content or use such requests for marketing purposes. Alexa does not have access to any personal or private information from the NHS,” a company spokesperson told The Conversation.

The Big Picture: No doubt smart devices are, well, smart. That’s their charm and that’s their value. But we’re still quite early in the development of the Internet of Things (IoT). Simply put, in the rush to trade convenience for privacy, we could be making a bad bargain.

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