source 2.docx - Hey Alexa How can we escape surveillance...

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Hey Alexa: How can we escape surveillance capitalism? This is not what we signed up for, but at least it was on sale. ___________________________________________________ Where do you go when you want to escape surveillance? When you want to stop feeling like you might be being listened to by microphones, or watched through surveillance cameras, or tracked by invisible tech gremlins burrowed within devices. Certainly nowhere in public. Perhaps it's your car. Maybe it's your home. Or even your bedroom? For some readers, that perimeter of personal freedom likely shrunk in February when news broke that Google "forgot" to tell consumers its Nest Secure came with a built-in microphone. This quandary worsened with a new story describing how Amazon Alexa has its "training" done by humans who listen to audio from users' homes and offices without their knowledge. No one using the devices knew this. It's fair to assume that no one knows all the home assistants do this . Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung all have humans reviewing audio recorded through these devices. A new report from Microsoft examining consumer adoption of voice and digital assistants shows that four out of 10 people are stressing out about digital assistant privacy and security. Yet it's pretty clear now that people with these microphones in their homes aren't aware they're being used -- as microphones, by companies -- to do things outside user control. Relying on information from Amazon Alexa-training team members, given on condition of anonymity, it was reported that the team members listen to "as
many as 1,000 audio clips per shift," and "use internal chat rooms to share files when they need help parsing a muddled word — or come across an amusing recording." Like, "a woman singing badly off-key in the shower, say, or a child screaming for help," the report said. "We have strict technical and operational safeguards, and have a zero tolerance policy for the abuse of our system," an Amazon spokesperson told press. "Employees do not have direct access to information that can identify the person or account as part of this workflow."

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