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monday2 May 2022

Researchers Claim Amazon Uses Alexa Voice Data To Target You With Ads

https://www.theverge.com

A report released last week contends that Amazon uses voice data from its Echo devices to serve targeted ads on its own platforms and the web. The report, produced by researchers affiliated with the University of Washington, UC Davis, UC Irvine, and Northeastern University, said the ways Amazon does this is inconsistent with its privacy policies.

Titled, “Your Echos are Heard: Tracking, Profiling, and Ad Targeting in the Amazon Smart Speaker Ecosystem,” the report concludes that Amazon and third parties (including advertising and tracking services) collect data from your interactions with Alexa through Echo smart speakers and share it with as many as 41 advertising partners. That data is then used to “infer user interests” and “serve targeted ads on-platform (Echo devices) as well as off-platform (web).” It also concludes that this type of data is in hot demand, leading to “30X higher ad bids from advertisers.”

Amazon told The Verge that it believes the research is flawed. “Many of the conclusions in this research are based on inaccurate inferences or speculation by the authors, and do not accurately reflect how Alexa works,” Raemhild said. “We are not in the business of selling our customers’ personal information and we do not share Alexa requests with advertising networks.”

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