By B.N. Frank
In fact, warnings about ALL wireless, “Smart,” and Internet of Things (IoT) devices being vulnerable to cyberattacks and hacking are NOT new and continue to be reported (see 1, 2). It’s hard to keep up with all of them. Also being reported – hackers can set devices on fire. Nevertheless, some gas stations are allowing Alexa users access to their pumps.
From Venture Beat:
Alexa users can now buy gas with a voice command at some stations
In partnership with ExxonMobil and fintech provider Fiserv, Amazon today launched an Alexa feature that lets users pay for gas with a voice command. The integration was first announced in January at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, but today marks its rollout at over 11,500 Exxon and Mobil stations across the U.S.
Starting today, customers with Alexa-enabled vehicles, Alexa-enabled devices like Echo Auto and Echo Buds, or the Alexa app on Android or iOS can say “Alexa, pay for gas” to have Alexa confirm their station location and pump number. Confirming the location and number will activate the pump, after which customers can optionally select the fuel grade and begin fueling.
Amazon says transactions are made through Amazon Pay and powered by Fiserv, which handles things like geolocation at Exxon and Mobil stations, pump activation, payment processing, and payment tokenization. Gas payments will default to the primary payment method associated with customers’ accounts (excepting Amazon gift cards), but Exxon notes on its website that there’s currently no way to earn Exxon Mobile Rewards+ points.
Amazon says access to the new feature — which doesn’t work with Echo devices “built for at-home use,” including the Echo, Echo Show, and Echo Dot — can be secured with a voice PIN if customers choose. This can be set up through the Account Settings screen in the Alexa app. The company also notes that the name, email address, payment, location, and other Amazon account information required to support the transaction will be shared with ExxonMobil at payment time.
The launch of Alexa-powered payments at ExxonMobil stations comes after Amazon debuted partnerships allowing users in some countries — including the U.S. and India — to pay utility companies with information stored in their Amazon accounts. Coinciding with the launch, a complementary bill management feature rolled out to Alexa-enabled devices in the U.S.
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All wireless, “Smart,” and IoT devices also emit radiation which can make people and animals sick (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) AND increase their cancer risk (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Research has determined that wireless exposure can even disrupt the blood-brain barrier, cause it to leak, and kill brain cells (see 1, 2).
All things considered, Alexa-equipped cars don’t seem worth their many avoidable risks.
Activist Post reports regularly about unsafe technology. For more information, visit our archives.
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