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In this maddening world of unkempt convenience for the sake of, well, convenience, our American society has come to allow far too many unchecked invasions of privacy.

Heck, if we want to get down to the nitty gritty of it all, we are asking for it in some cases.

We allow a number of websites to access our Facebook accounts simply so that we do not have to give these people our email addresses in registering, but we care not to think about why this is acceptable for these sites.  Certainly these sites understand that our email addresses are a valuable commodity in the world of internet advertising, so what value are they receiving in return from Facebook for this sidestepping of data collection?

To be honest, after the Cambridge Analytica debacle, I may not want to know.

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So when Amazon has attempted to make my life easier by instilling a wiretap in my home, I gladly refused their offer, returning the Amazon Echo that I received for Christmas without so much as uttering a word in its presence.  The only thing worse than giving my daily, habitual data to Facebook’s advertisers is giving that same information directly to the retailers, who can then warp my entire internet experience to drive me into their awaiting arms.

Now, Amazon is taking a step even further into the private world of Americans by introducing children-specific spying methods for your home.

Amazon has unveiled “Alexa for Kids,” a version of their Echo home assistant for children.

“Echo Dot Kids Edition can play age-appropriate music, answer questions, tell stories, and more,” explained Amazon, who added that parents can also “control time limits, set bedtimes, [and] review activity.”

Parents will also be able to look at what their kids are using the device for through their own smartphones.

“Use the online Parent Dashboard to review activity, pause Alexa, and set daily time limits at bedtime or throughout the day,” Amazon declared. “Parents can filter explicit songs from Amazon Music and voice shopping is turned off to help prevent unexpected purchases. Alexa even provides positive feedback when kids ask questions and remember to say ‘please.’ You can use compatible Echo devices or the Alexa app to let kids know dinner is ready, ask for help with a chore, or remind them to go to sleep—all without raising your voice. Use Drop In to instantly connect to another Echo device at home, or send an announcement to other Echo devices at once.”

I’m going to have to go ahead and just let y’all know that this is a big “nope” for me.

The ability of these tech giants to skirt the law and deal in our personal data is an unrefined nightmare of invasive advertising.  My browsing habits and shopping habits are mine and mine alone, and I would much prefer free will to the idea of being corralled into purchases.

Now, if we don’t protect our children from this same unwanted guidance, they could easily become slaves to the corporate cabal that Amazon represents.

 

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