Lawmakers and children advocates are questioning about Amazon’s new Echo Dot for kids. They are asking the tech giant if the kid’s interaction with the speaker are saved and shared with the third parties. It’s also important for them to know if the company discussed with child development experts when they developed such a device that has a speaker, as well as a voice assistant.
In a statement, Amazon answered some of the lawmakers’ concerns about the device. “Amazon takes privacy and security seriously, and FreeTime on Alexa is no different,” it said. The device only records when it hears a particular “wake word,” which the parents can switch off as well. Besides, parents can delete their children’s recordings from the device, as well as from servers. It means no third party company can access them.
However, the Campaign for Commercial-free Childhood group isn’t impressed by the response. Josh Golin, its executive director said, “Amazon wants kids to be dependent on its data-gathering device from the moment they wake up until they go to bed at night.” According to him, Eco Dot for kids is just “another unnecessary ‘must-have’ gadget” and is pretty harmful. Those devices are responsible for hampering a kid’s self-driven play capability, which is necessary to thrive.
People are already concerned enough about their privacy due to Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica debacle. So, with such a device designed for children, it’s no surprise that CCFC is showing concern.