Echo Dot must have seemed like a really good idea, at least to some people, but then the privacy concerns surfaced.
It appears that Echo Dot records what children say, saves that personal information, and apparently, it’s still saved even after parents delete It. A group of child advocacy organizations has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FCC), and they are supported in a detailed letter from a bipartisan group of United States Senators. Amazon insists that they need to collect the recordings to improve the device.
Um, all our kids’ comments and ideas stored for posterity — I mean Amazon? Growing kids say lots of things that they quickly realize they shouldn’t have said. Ask any teacher. Those archived recordings may contain comments that most parents did not even know their kids say. Just imagine the out-of-this-world corporate data trove provided by all those children. Whatever happened to COPPA?
My content addresses issues of interest for parents whose kids use either or both of the sites and focuses on interesting facts, some of the differences between Google+ and Facebook, and privacy issues.
I illustrate with a terrific infographic from Veracode Application Security.
A September 16, 2011 press release from the FTC announces the proposed regulation changes and seeks comments from the public. The increasing use of mobile devices by children is one reason the agency believes that changes are necessary, and the expanded regulations would add locational data as additional personal information that needs to be protected.
Three Proposed Changes
1. Notify parents in advance if their children’s personal information is collected and may be used or sold.