Amazon announced a long list of new Echo and Alexa products and initiatives this week — from smart glasses to wireless earbuds to a new neighborhood wireless initiative — extending the reach of its devices and services well beyond the home.
More Devices – Better Privacy
As Amazon wants to get people to use their devices, the company has made clear that the focus is now on addressing consumer privacy concerns.
Privacy is a hot and highly relevant topic right now. Big tech companies have all been found guilty of either mishandling or abusing customer data within their products. Amazon, meanwhile, has been criticized in the past for keeping voice recordings and text transcripts of Alexa user requests for machine-learning purposes.
During his presentation of the new products, David Limp hardware chief at Amazon placed a particular emphasis on user privacy and how Amazon is eager to address widely-known concerns.
Along with the new devices, Limp unveiled a host of new features that give consumers more control over Alexa privacy settings. Those features include auto-deleting recordings, preventing Alexa from turning on at unintended times and more privacy controls for Ring home-security cameras.
— James V. Gingerich (@jamesvgingerich) September 30, 2019
The Mission to Win Back Consumers
Gaining back the trust is crucial for Amazon, if their products are to get the expected traction with consumers. With additional Alexa-enabled products, Amazon wants to assist users at every step with Echo Frames smart glasses, Echo Loop ring and Echo Buds wireless earbuds.
Along with the new auto-delete feature, customers can now ask their Echo and Alexa devices what information they “heard”, with the aim to increase transparency and access control for users.
The company also created the new Alexa Communications for Kids to let parents pick which contacts their kids are allowed to talk to on the Echo Dot Kids Edition.
Of course, Alexa isn’t the only digital assistant to face privacy accusations. Previously this year, smart-speaker customers learned that human reviewers were listening to recordings from just about every major voice assistant, including Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana.
As privacy becomes one of the top priorities for consumers, tech giants have to comply and revamp their whole approach to user data. Recently, Apple also introduced new privacy features in the latest iOS 13 firmware update, which gives consumers more control over their data.
How do you feel about the improved privacy settings for Alexa and Echo? Is this enough for you to use them extensively? Let us know in the comments!
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