Not every piece of technology is worth having.
The Amazon device has never caught my attention and you shouldn’t have one either.
In my past life, I was in the Army and sat in some classified briefings. If I could tell you some stories, you would be shocked. There is one incident that is public information that I can share with you.
China stole your personal information
Evanina claimed China has stolen the personally identifiable information of 80% of Americans through stealing data from healthcare companies and technology including smart phones, sensors, and 5G networks.
BGI Group, a biotechnology company, has ties to China. The company approached Washington and five other states to help them build and run state-of-the-art coronavirus testing labs. This raised some suspicion to Evanina, and he cautioned the states from accepting the proposal.
China tried to hack into Amazon streaming service
In 2015, a Chinese technology company almost infiltrated Amazon and Department of Defense systems. Amazon was evaluating a start-up company called Elemental Technologies. The company was going to help with the Amazon streaming service which today is known as Amazon Prime Video.
Elemental Technologies has helped communicate with the International Space Station, stream the Olympic Games online, and stream CIA drone footage. The company had proven its ability on a large scale working with these industries.
Amazon hired a third party to scrutinize Elemental’s security. This is where some indications were found to be troubling.
A San Jose-based company, Super Micro Computer, Inc., assembled servers for Elemental. They are also one of the biggest suppliers of server motherboards.
A few of the motherboards were sent to Canada for the third-party company to test. On the server’s motherboards, a tiny microchip was found on the motherboard that wasn’t part of the original design.
The top-secret probe determined the microchips allowed the hackers to create a doorway into any network. Subcontractors originally created the microchips in China.
Further reports identified officials found 30 companies used the microchip including Apple.
Recent history of Amazon’s negligence
According to Geek Wire, Amazon was sued twice for storing content without consent. Nine states prohibit the recording of conversations without the consent of children or their parents.
The nine states were Florida, California, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington.
A law firm stated:
“At no point does Amazon warn unregistered users that it is creating persistent voice recordings of their Alexa interactions, let alone obtain their consent to do so.”
In response, Amazon replied:
“Amazon has a longstanding commitment to preserving the trust of our customers, and we have strict measures and protocols in place to protect their security and privacy. Customers set up their Echo devices and we give them easy-to-use tools to manage them, including the ability to review and delete the voice recordings associated with their account. We also offer FreeTime on Alexa, a free service that provides parental controls and ways for families to learn and have fun together.”
Geek Wire stated Apple’s Siri and Google’s Google Assistant work in similar ways as Amazon Echo.
Flaws of Amazon Echo
Studies have shown Amazon is always listening whether you want the device to listen or not.
Amazon Echo is a machine, but it has some drawbacks. The product is always listening but one human error could cause the device to record your information.
The words ‘Alexa’, ‘Computer’, or ‘Echo’ can wake the system up even if you did not want to use your Amazon Echo device. The device is always listening. You could have a conversation with someone and mention one of these three words, the device starts recording your information.
Alexa is an electronic device, so it is not perfect. The system will make mistakes and mishear the words you say.
3 Reasons you should not use Amazon Echo
1. You value your privacy
2. You don’t know who will buy the information that Amazon collects
3. China could easily buy your information through a third party
You want to live in a futuristic world as you see on television or in movies, but there are some drawbacks with technology. Technology is not perfect. There are some flaws in systems such as the Amazon Echo.
Then there are countries that want your information to learn more about you as well as your habits. Your privacy is no longer private and becomes public information to select individuals.
Americans value their privacy. A study by Pew Research determined that six out of 10 individuals feel their information is collected by companies or the government.
Falling into the hands of the government is one thing. But then to have your information fall into the hands of a foreign county is another.
Do your best to save guard your information as your privacy slowly becomes more public in this world that slowly becomes more technological each day.