Amazon’s (AMZN) Alexa-enabled devices are illegally recording and permanently storing the voices of children without consent, according to a federal class action lawsuit filed this week in Washington state district court.
“The legal theory is very straightforward. These kids themselves never consented, if they even could. No one such as a parent ever consented on their behalf,” Travis Lenkner, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, told Yahoo Finance.
In the complaint filed by two law firms, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Keller Lenkner, on behalf of an unnamed minor and other similarly situated children, plaintiffs criticize Amazon’s methods, alleging that the company, despite having the choice to scramble or encrypt user voices, instead retains, analyzes, and uses actual voice recordings so that it can deploy them for commercial benefit.
Professor Warns: Amazon Echo is “Always Recording” You
Alexa Recorded Family’s Conversation, Sent to Random Contact on Their List
Amazon has overtaken Google and Apple to become the world’s most valuable brand at $315.5 billion, according to a ranking of global companies, up 52% on last year.
Apple comes second, valued at $309.5 billion, with Google in third place, at $309 billion, according to the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand ranking 2019, compiled by WPP research agency Kantar and released Tuesday.
Google and Apple had spent a combined 12 years at the top of the list, with Google taking the top spot in 2018.
LAS VEGAS, June 6 (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said on Thursday he expects there will be commercial robots in the next 10 years that can grasp items as reliably as humans, a development that could lead to the automation of warehouse jobs around the world.
The remark, made on stage at Amazon’s “re:MARS” conference in Las Vegas, underscored how companies and university researchers are rapidly developing technology to perform human tasks, whether for elder care in the home or for the picking and stowing of goods in retail warehouses.
“I think grasping is going to be a solved problem in the next 10 years,” he said. “It’s turned out to be an incredibly difficult problem, probably in part because we’re starting to solve it with machine vision, so (that means) machine vision did have to come first.”
Scientists Begin Teaching AI Robots to Evolve Reproduce
DARPA Coding ‘Common Sense’ into AI to Replace Humans
Amazon to Host Robotics AI Conference
NVIDIA AI Creates Realistic Portraits of People Who Don’t Exist
In a detailed blog post on Medium.com tonight, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reveals the National Enquirer is threatening to publish embarrassing photos of him (and his new girlfriend) unless his private investigators back off their probe of the tabloid.
The “extortion and blackmail” comes after The National Enquirer published a story last month that included lurid texts between Bezos and former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez.
Since then, private investigators have been looking into how the Enquirer got the texts, which is notable since, as part of the deal, Bezos would have to release a public statement that he has “no knowledge or basis” to suggest the tabloid’s reporting was politically motivated.
The Washington Post announced Saturday it will premier an ad during Sunday’s Super Bowl LIII extolling the importance of journalism to a healthy democracy.
The 60-second ad comes as hundreds of journalists are losing their jobs amid mass media layoffs.
“While most Super Bowl ad producers have the better part of a year, we had the lesser part of a week, but with an event this big, we decided to seize the opportunity,” Fred Ryan, publisher and CEO of WaPo, noted in a press statement.
CBS is charging $5.25 million for a 30-second ad, CNBC reported. WaPo would not comment on how much the company was spending on its commercial slot.
Amazon is planning a public conference on robotics and artificial intelligence, which will include a public rollout of upcoming technologies.
The MARS conference, scheduled for June 4-7 in Las Vegas, will include “visionary talks, interactive workshops, technical deep dives, roundtables, hands-on demos, and more,” according to a press release which also stated the name stands for Machine learning, Automation, Robotics and Space.
“We’re at the beginning of a golden age of AI,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stated. “Recent advancements have already led to invention that previously lived in the realm of science fiction—and we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible.”
Arizona police found a dead newborn girl at an Amazon distribution center, local outlets reported.
Phoenix police said they found the full-term baby inside the garbage of the women’s bathroom at the facility Wednesday night and the newborn was beyond resuscitation, according to KNXV-TV.
Investigators spoke with the mother. They wouldn’t’ say whether she’s an Amazon employee to protect her identity.
“This is a terribly sad and tragic incident,” Amazon said in a statement to AZ Family, adding they’re working with cops. The warehouse continued its operations while officers investigated.
Arizona has a Safe Haven Law, allowing people to hand off their up to 3-day-old babies to any staffer at a hospital, fire station, child welfare or adoption agency or church.
Amazon Workers Across the Globe Stage Walkout Over Poor Conditions
Leftist Cities Bend Over Backwards For Amazon HQ With Ridiculous Perks
Professor Warns: Amazon Echo is “Always Recording” You
MSM Tries to Soften the Blow to Amazon’s Fake Review Scandal by Including Indie Sellers
Amazon Takes Away Employee Incentives, Raises Wages Instead
Bezos Expands Amazon Brand Using Children “as the Customer”
Amazon Warehouse Employees Pee in Bottles For Fear of Being Punished For Taking Breaks
Amazon Awarded Patent to Track Warehouse Employees’ Every Move
The markets may be tanking, but that hasn’t stopped plenty of mega-fortunes from being unearthed in 2018.
The popularity of Fortnite, the phenomenon that forced some into video-game rehab, gave gamemaker Tim Sweeney a $7.2 billion fortune this year. Autry Stephens has $11.4 billion after his closely held Endeavour Energy Resources LP attracted bids that valued the oil company at as much as $15 billion.
“It was a good year for wealth creation,“ said Michael Zeuner, managing partner of WE Family Offices. “It was a tough year in financial markets, but for people who are creating wealth through companies, the economy itself is very strong.”
Amazon has “failed to provide sufficient answers” about its controversial facial recognition software, Rekognition — and lawmakers won’t take the company’s usual silent treatment for an answer.
The letter, signed by eight lawmakers — including Sen. Edward Markey and Reps. John Lewis and Judy Chu — called on Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos to explain how the company’s technology works — and where it will be used.
It comes after the cloud and retail giant secured several high-profile contracts with the U.S. government and at least one major metropolitan city — including Orlando, Florida — for surveillance.
The lawmakers said that they expressed a “heightened concern given recent reports that Amazon is actively marketing its biometric technology to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as other reports of pilot programs lacking any hands-on training from Amazon for participating law enforcement officers.”
DC Airport First in Nation to Catch Suspected Imposter Using Facial Biometrics
Congress Wants Answers From Amazon on Their Facial-Recognition Technology
Bezos Selling Facial Recognition Tech to Law Enforcement
A true apology consists of a sincere acknowledgement of wrong-doing, a show of empathic remorse for why you wronged and the harm it caused, and a promise of restitution by improving ones actions to make things right. Without the follow-through, saying sorry isn’t an apology, it’s a hollow ploy for forgiveness.
That’s the kind of “sorry” we’re getting from tech giants — an attempt to quell bad PR and placate the afflicted, often without the systemic change necessary to prevent repeated problems. Sometimes it’s delivered in a blog post. Sometimes it’s in an executive apology tour of media interviews. But rarely is it in the form of change to the underlying structures of a business that caused the issue.