Alexa as a Trojan Horse

We’ve long known companies capitalize on the data they glean every time we go online. Alexa and her kin take this to a new level, observes Sound & Vision in, “Big Data and You: The Analytics of Amazon’s Alexa.”  Writer Ken D. Pohlmann uses a hypothetical pizzeria to illustrate how companies can use data collected by such devices. He declares:

Alexa-type products are, in every sense of the term, Trojan Horses that, among other things, are designed to use the product’s interactivity to analyze your behavior.

Pohlmann cautions that this is something new—products traditionally brought into our homes haven’t spied on us for their makers in pursuit of actionable insights. Whether we accept this development is up to each potential user to decide.

Cynthia Murrell, April 27, 2017