A bicameral congressional duo is concerned that little pitchers have big mouths as well as ears.
Amazon is under scrutiny from those legislators over the Echo Dot Kids version of its digital assistant.
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), who co-founded the Congressional Privacy Caucus, have asked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for some answers on how the device, which began shipping last week, records and stores children's voices and interactions.
That came in a letter dated May 11.
They also want to know what third parties have access to the data, what Steps the company has taken to comply with Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act privacy protections (a bill Markey motormanned), and whether the information collected will be used for marketing, including building profiles of likes and interests or making product recommendations on Amazon.com.
“While these types of artificial intelligence and voice recognition technology offer potentially new education and entertainment opportunities, Americans’ privacy, particularly children’s privacy, must be paramount,” they told Bezos.
Edge providers are increasingly under the microscope in Washington as their market cap and power have exploded and concerns about how they are using it when it comes to privacy and security and targeted marketing have come to the fore.
Markey and Barton last fall expressed concerns to Mattel about Aristotle, which they called a WiFi-enabled talking device with audio and video monitoring that could be in a child's room from birth through adolescence.
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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