Amazon's creepy surveillance robot

I think most of you know that I don’t use Amazon- for various reasons, but mostly because it’s such a privacy violator. Well, they’ve outdid themselves this time! Check out their ad for their new ROBOT named “Astro” & let me know your thoughts.

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Isaac Asimov always avoided the “robots as pathos” philosophy as he thought they had enormous potential for good.

Turns out he was wrong.

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And more broadly this is hilarious. People are willingly letting roving advertising spies into their houses? Apparently it lets you define areas that are “off limits”. Which means you define the area the robot waits outside of with maximum gain settings for the microphone.

Remember how upset people were with Apple scanning photos?

Astro will probably take photos.

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@iota What struck me as odd is that this “robot” doesn’t really do anything productive. It won’t clean my bathroom, do the dishes , or fold the laundry. It does literally NOTHING useful for its owner. It does however serve as VERY USEFUL surveillance for Amazon. My Roomba is more productive than this robot.

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Yes, Amazon has outdone itself!

As a longtime publisher of ebooks on Amazon, I have wanted for years to know ANONYMIZED statistics about how deeply into my ebooks people read. Amazon will NOT share that information with me – even at an anonymized level. However, Amazon itself SURELY knows how deeply each Kindle owner reads into each ebook.

Talk about violation of individuals’ privacy! This explains why (a) I stopped buying Kindle ebooks – now buying physical books instead – and (b) I plan to disentangle my book sales from Amazon.

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This is creepy… Surely it’s a joke, right?? :flushed:

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I swore off ever using Amazon when they removed Nineteen eighty four from the kindles of people who bought it.

There could not have been a clearer ‘tell’ than that.

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Black Mirror vibes intensify :cold_sweat:

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FYI: https://mashable.com/article/irobot-wants-to-sell-home-mapping-data

Home mapping data is already out in the wild. Council approval plans, real estate websites.

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@iota YIKES! Seriously?

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@nirvana This robot serves no other purpose, than to visually record & scan everything that happens in the privacy of your home. The Echo dot with its creepy ALEXA was a step towards this point. But, Alexa was just LISTENING- this creepy thing LISTENS & RECORDS VIDEO & TAKES PIX then promptly transmits that info to AMAZON, which will compile it, aggregate it, analyze it & exploit it for PROFIT.

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Yes. It was a great early example of the risks of DRM for digital purchases.

They were probably reviewing it for ideas now I think about it.

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LOL :smile: You don’t have to convince me.
I think I’d feel rather uncomfortable staying in a house with an Echo or an Alexa device, let alone this horror!

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@iota, you can add property-tax appraisal districts in the USA to that list. I have seen appraisal-district websites where you can look up a property address and from there see a line drawing of the perimeter of the land, the outline of the house, and the rooms in the house.

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@nirvana I have only one friend who has an Amazon ECHO & it freaks me out.
It’s not really a big thing here in Poland- but she moved from NYC & brought it with her. I love my friend, but I don’t like going to her house because I feel that creepy ALEXA is always listening.

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@hummingbird12 unfortunately it’s not a joke.

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This article provides some insight into how USELESS this thing is- My favorite line: it’s prone to being “attacked by pets displeased with its presence.” I can only imagine what my Misiek would do it it!

Another creepy fact: Leaked documents and videos of developer meetings obtained by Vice also show that Astro is doing a lot of surveillance with its facial recognition systems, and the feature where it follows people around if it doesn’t recognize them.

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@iota What?! :astonished:

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So a quick internet search lead me to this NPR piece on that topic explains that it was an issue of copyright. I then followed up my brief investigation by going to amazons site and saw 1984 for sale as both a hardcopy and ebook.
I don’t like amazon for the fact that they collude with oil companies (google does the same) and push mindless consumerism.

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