1. Amazon Sued Over Child Recordings
“Alexa, why am I being sued?” Amazon is being sued in two US cases regarding a lack of consent to create voiceprints that could let Alexa-enabled devices keep track of a youngster’s use of the device and personal details about their lives. The claims say Amazon is in breach of privacy laws. Amazon’s response is that it only stores data once a device-owner has given it permission to do so and parents can delete a child’s profile and recordings at any time. “At no point does Amazon warn unregistered users it is creating persistent voice recordings of their Alexa interactions, let alone obtain their consent to do so,” the complaints state. “Neither the children not the parents have consented to the children’s interactions being permanently recorded.” Human operators sometimes listen to the clips to tag them in order to help the machine-learning system involved become more accurate. As innovative speaker Erik Qualman puts it, “privacy is dead.”
2. Huawei’s Response to US Blacklist
Chinese technology company Huawei has been working furiously after the Trump administration put Huawei on a blacklist, prohibiting it from doing business with U.S. tech companies. After this setback, Huawei applied to trademark its “Hongmeng” operating system (Android-app compatible) to quickly get it off the ground amid the serious threat that Google may sever all ties. Google recently announced that Huawei would lose access to its Android operating system and in response, Huawei, the world’s second-biggest phone maker, has been ramping up plans for its own operating system, which it wants to release by early 2020. Huawei has been under scrutiny for over a year, led by U.S. allegations, that “back doors” in its routers, switches, and other gear could allow China to spy on U.S. communications. The U.S. meeting with officials in Europe warned against buying Huawei equipment for next-generation mobile networks, as only time would tell if Huawei could diversify.
3. Kraft’s #LieLikeAParent Campaign
If you’re a parent, you likely know the struggles of getting your kids to eat their veggies. Like all parents, sometimes telling a white lie to your kid seems like a harmless act. In fact, 63% of U.S. parents admit to lying to get their kids to clean their plates, according to Kraft research. This is precisely what Kraft is doing with their new marketing campaign, offering its ranch dressing in a tube called “Salad Frosting.” However, the salad “frosting” isn’t available for purchase. The limited-edition product is currently only available for 1.5K winners through a company contest that continues through June 14 (today!) in which U.S. parents can enter to win a tube on Twitter by sharing their best parenting fibs. To enter, use the #LieLikeAParent and #contest hashtags. Here’s a look at some of our favorite contest submissions:
— It's me! (@luvdabeach33) June 10, 2019
7-year-old: I hate mashed potatoes.
Me: Those aren’t mashed potatoes.
7: What are they?
Me: French fry salad.
— James Breakwell, Exploding Unicorn (@XplodingUnicorn) June 12, 2019
— Gina B (@gnab00) June 12, 2019
(Source: USA Today)