The latest PROOFS that Amazon Echo is a 1984 telescreen

The purpose of the telescreens in Orwell’s 1984 is to constantly reinforce…

“the TEACHINGS of the party through propaganda and to constantly MONITOR the actions of the citizens governed by Big Brother” (source).

The latest PROOFS that Amazon Echo is a 1984 telescreen /img/1984-telescreen.jpg

OK. Here is the teaching:

Yesterday Amazon announced “the launch of a free, AD-SUPPORTED music service in the U.S. that will be available to anyone who wants to play free music on their Echo speaker.”

This new service “will also offer a way to push Echo owners to upgrade to the paid subscription services Amazon offers, including its Amazon Music Unlimited service”

As I happened to tweet before I even read these news “The new #digitaldivide is between people who CAN opt out of #algorithms and people who CANNOT”.

And here is the monitoring

This week we also learned that Amazon Workers Are Listening to What You Tell Alexa. In a way, this is just a confirmation of what should be an obvious fact: “the often-overlooked human role in training software algorithms”, that is “artificial intelligence”.

But the real, if written between the lines content of that article is another obvioust is something else: what “Amazon Workers” can do, others can do too. Amazon Echo is a device that law enforcement, or potentially any kid able to crack her way into “smart” home device, can use to spy on you.

Nothing new here. Just move along… and away fro Amazon Echo

Strictly speaking, nothing in this post is new. Not even the title: “Amazon Basically Made the Telescreen From 1984” was written in 2017. But many people may have missed these latest confirmations of a worrying fact of life. I just thought that summarising it in one short, easy to share post may be a little, but useful public service.

P.S.: Amazon Echo is just one part of Amazon’s “Life as a Service” strategy. But of course, Amazon Echo also is just the currently biggest bad guy of a crowd drooling to replace it, e.g. Google Home, Sonos One and Apple HomePod. Avoid them too. The ony really “smart” home is this.