Author: Global News

Amazon team that monitors Alexa can access user locations: report

– A A + Listen Amazon listens in on a small number of requests to Alexa — and some employees can access the location associated with those conversations, according to a new report.
Story continues below Bloomberg reported that a group of Amazon staff who monitor a fraction of the recordings captured by the voice-activated assistant have the ability to view location data in some cases.
Such information could allow them to pinpoint the address of the smart speaker — and bring them closer to identifying the user.
READ MORE: Alexa, are you alone? Amazon staff may be listening to your recordings
The Bloomberg report cited five Amazon employees who were granted anonymity. Two expressed concerns over the potential for Alexa users to be identified.
Location data, which is gathered by many tech companies and services, allows Alexa to give better answers to questions that hinge on the u..

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Huawei’s Q1 revenue grows 39% despite company controversy

– A A + Listen Chinese tech giant Huawei said Monday its revenue rose 39 per cent over a year earlier in the latest quarter despite U.S. pressure on allies to shun its telecom technology as a security risk.
Huawei, the biggest global maker of network equipment for phone and internet companies, on Monday reported revenue of USD $26.8 billion for the first three months of the year.
READ MORE: With security concerns and criminal charges – should Canada allow Huawei to operate in Canada?
Washington’s pressure on allies to avoid Huawei, China’s first global tech brand, threatens to block access to Europe and other markets as carriers prepare to invest billions of dollars in next-generation technology.
The company denies U.S. accusations it facilitates Chinese spying.
Huawei, founded by a former Chinese military engineer in 1987, is privately held but reports financial results to try to defuse Western..

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Facebook to join Google, Amazon in developing voice-activated assistant technology

– A A + Listen Facebook Inc is working to develop a voice assistant to rival the likes of Inc’s Alexa, Apple Inc’s Siri and Alphabet Inc’s Google Assistant.
“We are working to develop voice and AI assistant technologies that may work across our family of AR/VR products including Portal, Oculus and future products,” a Facebook spokesperson told Reuters in an e-mailed response on Wednesday.
READ MORE: Alexa, are you alone? Amazon staff may be listening to your recordings
Earlier in the day, CNBC reported about the development, saying that the team behind the technology has been contacting vendors in the smart speaker supply chain. However, it remains unclear how exactly Facebook envisions people using the assistant, but it could potentially be used on the company’s Portal video chat smart speakers, the Oculus headsets or other future projects, CNBC reported.
WATCH: Facebook bans change ..

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AI blind spots exposed after YouTube’s Notre Dame-9/11 flub

– A A + Listen YouTube might need a few more humans, because the machines whose job is to tamp down conspiracy theories aren’t cutting it just yet.
As people around the world turned to YouTube to watch Notre Dame Cathedral burn in Paris on Monday, an automated system attached background information about the Sept. 11 terror attacks in New York to livestream videos of the fire.
The cause of the blaze has not been determined, but authorities said it appeared to be accidental, not arson or terrorism.
READ MORE: Here’s what the Notre Dame looks like after the fire
The background note was posted by a system YouTube recently put in place to combat well-known conspiracies about such events as the moon landing or 9/11. In this case, the algorithm might have had the opposite effect, fuelling speculation about the cause of the fire and who might be behind it.
WATCH: Notre Dame Cathedral joins other icons ..

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Britain proposes banning kids from liking social media posts

– A A + Listen LONDON — Britain’s privacy regulator wants to stop kids from being able to “like” posts on Facebook and other social media sites as part of tough new rules it’s proposing to protect children’s online privacy.
Under the draft rules, which were released for consultation on Monday, tech companies would not be allowed to use “nudge techniques” that encourage children to keep using a site.
Story continues below READ MORE: U.K. proposes penalties on social media companies if harmful content spreads
The Information Commissioner’s Office said examples of “reward loops” that keep people using a site so that more of their personal data can be harvested include “likes” on Facebook and Instagram or “streaks” on Snapchat. A Snapchat streak involves two friends sending each other direct “snaps” on consecutive days.
The code of practice includes 16 standards that must be met by apps, connected toys, soci..

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