Information provided to speech recognition technologies AI’s such as Google Assistant, Cortana, Siri and Amazon Alexa can be a valuable digital marketing tool to develop predictive analytics and targeted advertising.
However, if we are unaware of exactly what and when data is being gathered and used, this raises a point for ethical concern.
Apart from its basic functions, a key purpose of the Amazon Alexa is a marketing tool for other Amazon services such as their personalised advertising as well as Amazon Music and Amazon Videos.
…but before you succumb to the ease of a digital assistant, take a look at these horror stories of Amazon Alexa gone wrong!
- Under the European Union’s General Data Protection regulations, a German man requested a copy of all the information Amazon had collected on him. What he got back was the Amazon Alexa recordings of another family! The recordings enabled him to identify the family’s first names, last names and even their location!
- A warrant gives law enforcement the ability to obtain recordings and in a fascinating turn of events, an Amazon Alexa is being treated as a key witness in a murder trial!
- An Amazon Alexa has ‘misheard’ an instruction which resulted in a couple’s conversation being recorded and sent to one of their contacts.
With the amount of data that devices such as the Amazon Alexa collect, there is a huge potential that companies collecting this data may exchange it (for huge sums of money) with marketers for purposes of targeted advertising.
Top tip: read the privacy policies!
What are your thoughts, is the convenience of the Amazon Alexa worth the risk of your privacy and security?
If you want to delve further into the ethical pros and cons of voice recognition software and digital marketing, check out this article from The Guardian!