Apple is finally admitting that their Siri AI technology has been quietly breaching your privacy and listening to everything around you. The problem is, it’s not just the technology which has been listening. So have Apple workers. This breach is a shock to iPhone and iPad users. Apple says it’s to improve the experience. However, this is an invasion of privacy and an insult to users who trusted them who are losing trust.
Over the last few years I have issued many warnings about the invasion of privacy of all the new AI personal assistant devices and services. That’s right, this privacy invasion is a much larger problem than just Apple.
Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, Samsung Bixby invade privacy
Beyond Apple Siri, there are the various Google services like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, Samsung Bixby and many others. And in fact, more are on the way.
Apple, admitting they have a problem is just the first step of a long journey toward protecting user privacy rights. This problem with all companies involved is severe and over the top.
Users are shocked and simply can’t believe that everything they discuss in the privacy of their own home or car is being listened to. This is an attack on their personal privacy rights.
Kat Timpf on Fox News put a good spin on this problem. She said it’s like someone hiding under your bed and listening to everything you say and do. Then when they are discovered, they simply come out and say, oh, sorry, then walk away.
In that case it’s a crime and is creepy. In that case you would want to have that person arrested. Lock-em-up! Why is it any less so when done by a company to hundreds of millions of innocent and unsuspecting people?
AI and personal assistants make our lives better
AI or artificial intelligence is an incredible new technology. It is growing in power and sophistication. The future of AI and personal assistants is incredible. It has been around for quite a long time but is now moving into consumer products and services.
The good news is, AI and personal assistants make our lives better. However, every coin has two sides and the other side of AI is an invasion of privacy. And this needs to be dealt with, now.
Doing this with the knowledge and permission of users is bad enough. Doing this without the customer knowing is a breach of trust at the very least. Could this even be a crime like hiding under a stranger’s bed?
Many companies always do the right thing. However, many other companies do the wrong thing until they are caught. And in this case, these companies breaking our trust are industry leaders.
Who ever thought this would become a problem that needs laws to protect users? Yet that’s the world these companies have pushed us into.
Artificial intelligence invades personal privacy
So, how can these companies breach the trust their customers and users place in them and think it’s OK? How can they not worry they will ultimately be hurt by this practice when it is discovered?
It’s not OK and the user is just starting to catch on. We can love AI and want it to continue, but at the same time be respectful of the damage that can occur when there is a breach of privacy.
That’s why we sign HIPAA forms when we go to the doctor. We want to protect our privacy. AI is not different.
This problem is huge and getting larger all the time, and we have just started to scratch the surface.
Apple finally admitted they were doing this and are finally taking steps to protect user privacy. While that is a good first step, what about all the others? Will they also admit their involvement in this breach of user privacy?
The problem is companies don’t see this as a breach of personal privacy
I think the problem is executives and workers in Silicon Valley don’t see the problem. That’s because they don’t see users as human beings with rights. Instead, I think they see technology and information in a sterile environment.
They look at this differently than the average user does. Especially when that user has their privacy invaded.
However, that does not clear them. When someone does the wrong there are always consequences. So, what consequences will Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung and others face?
AI privacy invasion is like Emperor with no clothes
This is like the old Hans Christian Anderson story about the emperor with no clothes. People can be convinced about anything if they only believe. In this case, users believed there was no privacy problem. Now, they are finally starting to realize there is a problem. It’s beginning to realize the emperor has no clothes!
Artificial intelligence will be one of the most incredible advancements of all time. I love the idea and the power of the technology. It will change everything as we move forward.
Some companies do a great job and are trustworthy. Unfortunately, others are not. Letting AI advance without protecting the privacy rights of every user is simply wrong and should never, ever happen.
Focus on both technology advancement and user protection
We need to focus on both sides of the AI and personal assistant coin, technology advancement and user protection. We must be aware of both sides of the AI coin.
We have been betrayed by many companies. Now, they are forcing us to set rules and even laws to protect users. The companies won’t like this, but they did it to themselves.
This is a problem that has been going on far too long, but at least it’s becoming public and is starting to be addressed. It’s too bad some companies have pushed the situation to this point.
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