Facebook’s first president Sean Parker lashes out at tech rival Amazon saying there is ‘no limit’ to how it uses data and it DOESN’T guarantee user privacy
- Sean Parker said there is ‘no limit’ to how Amazon can harvest and use data
- Facebook’s first president also said Alexa is listening to private conversations
- He added that Amazon is guaranteeing no privacy to its customers
Facebook’s founding president has claimed there is ‘no limit’ to how much user data retail giant Amazon is collating and that it ‘could potentially be used against you in a court of law’.
The claims from Sean Parker, who also co-founded Napster, include allegations that Alexa is listening in to private conversations when not activated.
He added that Amazon is not guaranteeing its users and privacy in his interview with CNBC, where he lashed out at Facebook’s tech rival.
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The claims from Sean Parker (pictured), who also co-founded Napster, include allegations that Alexa is listening in to private conversations when not activated
‘If you’re having a conversation in front of an Alexa-enabled device, Amazon is not guaranteeing you any privacy,’ Mr Parker said in an interview.
Facebook’s first president is not alone in criticising Amazon over the use of its technology and a perceived lack of concern for its user’s privacy.
MailOnline has approached Amazon for comment.
In March 2018, an Oregon user known as Danielle reported that her Echo device recorded and sent audio of a private conversation to a contacts without their knowledge.
It wasn’t until a random contact called to let them know that he’d received a call from Alexa that they realised their device had mistakenly transmitted a private conversation.
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The contact, who was one of her husband’s work employees, told the woman to ‘unplug your Alexa devices right now. You’re being hacked’, KIRO noted.
‘We unplugged all of them and he proceeded to tell us that he had received audio files of recordings from inside our house,’ Danielle said.
‘…I felt invaded. Immediately I said, “I’m never plugging that device in again, because I can’t trust it”‘, she added.
Thankfully, the recorded conversation was only about hardware floors, but the incident has still managed to spark fears of Alexa spying on its users.
The internet giant played the event down, saying it was an ‘extremely rare occurrence’ and claimed to take ‘privacy very seriously’.
Its facial recognition software, Rekognition, has also been under prolonged scrutiny.
Facebook’s founding president has claimed there is ‘no limit’ to how much user data retail giant Amazon is collating and that it ‘could potentially be used against you in a court of law’. ‘If you’re having a conversation in front of an Alexa-enabled device, Amazon is not guaranteeing you any privacy,’ Mr Parker said in an interview
In 2018 it was revealed the Seattle-based firm was trying to sell the software to US officials for use by ICE in the immigration battle.
Last month it was revealed the software had inherent gender and racial biases.
In particular, the software performed worse when identifying gender for females and darker-skinned females.
When the software was presented with a number of female faces, it incorrectly labelled 19 percent of them as male.
But the outcome was much worse for darker-skinned women.
Of the dark-skinned women it was presented, Rekognition incorrectly labelled 31 percent of them as men.
By comparison, Rekognition made no errors in its attempts to identify pale-skinned men.
MIT found that similar software developed by IBM and Microsoft performed better than Rekognition.
Specifically, Microsoft incorrectly labelled 1.5 per cent of darker-skinned women as men.
FACEBOOK’S PRIVACY DISASTERS
December 2018: Facebook comes under fire after a bombshell report discovered the firm allowed over 150 companies, including Netflix, Spotify and Bing, to access unprecedented amounts of user data, such as private messages.
Some of these ‘partners’ had the ability to read, write, and delete Facebook users’ private messages and to see all participants on a thread.
It also allowed Microsoft’s search engine, known as Bing, to see the name of all Facebook users’ friends without their consent.
Amazon was allowed to obtain users’ names and contact information through their friends, and Yahoo could view streams of friends’ posts.
As of last year, Sony, Microsoft, and Amazon could all obtain users’ email addresses through their friends.
September 2018: Facebook disclosed that it had been hit by its worst ever data breach, affecting 50 million users – including those of Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg.
Attackers exploited the site’s ‘View As’ feature, which lets people see what their profiles look like to other users.
Facebook says it has found no evidence ‘so far’ that hackers broke into third-party apps after a data breach exposed 50 million users (stock image)
The unknown attackers took advantage of a feature in the code called ‘Access Tokens,’ to take over people’s accounts, potentially giving hackers access to private messages, photos and posts – although Facebook said there was no evidence that had been done.
The hackers also tried to harvest people’s private information, including name, sex and hometown, from Facebook’s systems.
Facebook said it doesn’t yet know if information from the affected accounts has been misused or accessed, and is working with the FBI to conduct further investigations.
However, Mark Zuckerberg assured users that passwords and credit card information was not accessed.
As a result of the breach, the firm logged roughly 90 million people out of their accounts earlier today as a security measure.
March 2018: Facebook made headlines earlier this year after the data of 87 million users was improperly accessed by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy.
The disclosure has prompted government inquiries into the company’s privacy practices across the world, and fueled a ‘#deleteFacebook’ movement among consumers.
Communications firm Cambridge Analytica had offices in London, New York, Washington, as well as Brazil and Malaysia.
The company boasts it can ‘find your voters and move them to action’ through data-driven campaigns and a team that includes data scientists and behavioural psychologists.
‘Within the United States alone, we have played a pivotal role in winning presidential races as well as congressional and state elections,’ with data on more than 230 million American voters, Cambridge Analytica claims on its website.
The company profited from a feature that meant apps could ask for permission to access your own data as well as the data of all your Facebook friends.
The data firm suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix (pictured), after recordings emerged of him making a series of controversial claims, including boasts that Cambridge Analytica had a pivotal role in the election of Donald Trump
This meant the company was able to mine the information of 87 million Facebook users even though just 270,000 people gave them permission to do so.
This was designed to help them create software that can predict and influence voters’ choices at the ballot box.
The data firm suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix, after recordings emerged of him making a series of controversial claims, including boasts that Cambridge Analytica had a pivotal role in the election of Donald Trump.
This information is said to have been used to help the Brexit campaign in the UK.
It has also suffered several previous issues.
In 2013, Facebook disclosed a software flaw that exposed 6 million users’ phone numbers and email addresses to unauthorized viewers for a year, while a technical glitch in 2008 revealed confidential birth-dates on 80 million Facebook users’ profiles.
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