Mozilla exec tells Ottawa big data committee he was ‘shocked’ by what Alexa recorded

He says internet companies need to do more to give customers more “granular” consent options

A security executive for the internet browser company Mozilla says he was shocked by the recordings of his family that were collected and retained by Amazon’s popular Alexa voice-activated interactive speaker.

Alan Davidson, Mozilla’s vice-president of global policy, trust and security, says the Amazon Echo device is a wonderful product but when he recently examined what his family’s had recorded and stored, he found it included conversations among his young children.

He says none of that may be wrong or unlawful, but he says it highlights the problems with how consumers actively give consent to tech companies.

Davidson says internet companies need to do more to give customers more “granular” consent options for how specific pieces of personal information are collected and used by high-tech companies.

Mark Ryland, the chief security officer for Amazon Web Services, says Amazon makes it very clear that consent is part of the Alexa experience, and that customers can delete any collected data if they like.

Davidson and Ryland were testifying in Ottawa before the international grand committee on big data, privacy and democracy, which includes politicians from Canada, Britain, and several other countries.

READ MORE: Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford Panthers win EVAA title

Abby senior boys defeat Yale Lions 90-79 on Sunday to capture banner

Abbotsford athletes earn medals at BC Winter Games

Gymnasts, judo competitors big local winners at Fort St. John event

Surge in Fraser Health home-care complaints concerns seniors advocate

Number of people complaining about home care has risen substantially over the last four years

Mission MLA Simon Gibson appointed Assistant Deputy Speaker

Gibson will now preside over daily sessions of the House, when the Deputy Speaker or Speaker is away

VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Earlybird RV Show in Abbotsford

Annual event takes over Tradex over the weekend

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

Man pleads guilty to stabbing woman, off-duty cop outside North Delta elementary school

The suspect, whose name is under a publication ban, faced 10 charges in relation to this incident

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Most Read