By B.N. Frank
More creepy “Surveillance Capitalism” courtesy of Amazon who isn’t hiding that it is putting millions of smart speakers in homes and hotels by “offering discounted hardware, customized software and new ways for property managers to harvest and use data.”
Are there actually people willing to pay for this type of arrangement?
From the Wall Street Journal, “Amazon’s Plan to Move In to Your Next Apartment Before You Do.”
For Amazon, the appeal is obvious: Adding millions of new users to its services and gaining access to data like their voice-based wish lists and Alexa-powered shopping habits will put it further ahead of the competition which, at the moment, doesn’t have a significant presence in rental properties and new-home construction.
‘We can predict if residents are happy based on their digital interactions.’
Here’s what they have to say about privacy:
And there’s a question of privacy: Renters, home buyers and hotel guests are all surrendering more data as a result of these innovations, and may not be aware of all the parties monitoring their smart-home interactions.
Consenting to this data-surrending may be hidden somewhere in the contract’s fine print that most don’t read or don’t understand.
According to the article, Google is also interested in doing this kind of thing in homes too. Why the heck not, right?
In the meantime, Amazon is also planning to “push” its surveillance and data collection devices in other places too – including public places:
Job postings on Amazon’s own website indicate the company aspires in the future to push its Alexa service and Echo devices into stadiums and hospitals. A spokeswoman said senior-living communities and vacation-rental operators were also in the company’s sights.
In some cases, Amazon is willing to share data, insights and even some of the revenue that flows from putting smart devices in living spaces.
Marriott, for example, is the launch partner for Amazon’s Alexa for Hospitality service. Amazon is building out dashboards for Marriott and any other hotelier that wants to use its service. These hubs for data and insight will allow Amazon to measure and pass on information about “guest engagement” with the in-room Alexa devices, which will be capable of doing everything from making restaurant recommendations to adjusting the thermostat and ordering fresh towels. They will not, however, allow hotels to hear guests’ actual voice recordings.
All of these partnerships are consistent with Amazon’s larger strategy, which is to get more people using its services and locked into its Alexa ecosystem.
Locked in and being fried by Alexa’s ecosystem. After all, all of these surveillance devices don’t operate via magic. They emit harmful sources of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) like WiFi. Children are more vulnerable to exposure to this than adults. In fact, there is no safe level of wireless WiFi radiation that been scientifically determined for children or pregnant women. Pets are affected by exposure too.
Of course, if you’re home has utility “Smart” Meters on it, your utility companies are already collecting utility usage data on you 24/7 and possibly even sharing and/or selling it to 3rd parties. Since millions of these meters have been installed in the U.S. and around the world, obviously utility companies don’t seem to mind frying everybody with their surveillance devices either.
For more information on harm caused by exposure to sources of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) and WiFi, visit the following websites:
- Wireless Information Network
- Americans for Responsible Technology
- Center For Safer Wireless
- Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
- EMF Safety Network
- Environmental Health Trust
- Generation Zapped
- Physicians for Safe Technology
- Scientists for Wired Tech
- Smart Grid Awareness
- Take Back Your Power
- We Are The Evidence
Image credit: Pixabay
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