Marissa Merrill

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Would you willingly welcome a stranger into your home to listen and record your private conversations? You might have already done so if you own a voice-controlled, personal assistant device like Amazon’s Alexa products. These devices listen to your conversations and record your interactions awaiting a command, sending personal data through the cloud to Amazon employees to translate the information into an action. So how private is your personal data if it’s being shared through these devices?

For years people have dreamed about the technology of the future. But these technological advances open the door to new, different problems. Voice-controlled, personal assistant devices have become the norm, earning its space on our kitchen counters, living room tables, bedroom nightstands, and inside our hand-held devices. With the sound of your voice, this technology is alert and ready to take action. Yet, the problem lies within that technology and it exists because of the ease. While these devices are listening for the user’s command, they also record interactions and personal information to personalize or improve each user’s experience. However, there is one lingering concern about the interactions with such voice-controlled, personal assistant devices: how private is the personal data it consumes?

This Article explores privacy concerns in a world of technological advancements and ease. While examining the recent privacy and legal issues with these devices, this Article will analyze the current state of privacy laws and compare it to other regions for a conclusion on how to best protect your data.

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Privacy Law Commons