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Amazon Alexa transcripts live on even after you delete voice records

first_img“Amazon markets Echo Dot Kids as a device to educate and entertain kids, but the real purpose is to amass a treasure trove of sensitive data that it refuses to relinquish even when directed to by parents,” said Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.In a statement, Amazon said the Echo Dot Kids Edition is compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.While Facebook has drawn much of the attention for the ways it’s gobbled up our personal data, Amazon has increasingly inserted itself into our lives. The company has sold more than 100 million Alexa devices, and it’s sitting on a massive amount of text data containing details on people’s habits and behaviors that isn’t deleted. Amazon’s smart speakers are also the most popular choice for buyers.Amazon Echo dominates the market with about 70% of the market share, while Google Home has about 24% and the Apple HomePod is next at 6%. Google and Apple said they don’t keep transcript data indefinitely.A Google spokesman said both the audio and text entry is removed when a person deletes that data. For Apple, which uses Siri as a voice assistant, the company said voice recordings are never associated with a person or an account, and are tied to a random identifier that you can delete. “When you turn Siri and Dictation off, Apple will delete the User Data associated with your Siri identifier, and the learning process will start all over again,” Apple said on its website. This retention doesn’t just apply to Amazon’s own smart speakers — any third-party device using Alexa as an assistant would be sending that data to Amazon, and people wouldn’t be able to delete it. That includes voice data sent to Facebook Portal, a smart speaker released by the social network in November. Facebook said it deletes the data and transcribed text for its smart assistant when it’s activated through the wake word “Hey Portal.” But when it comes to interactions with Alexa on the Portal, that’s a different story. “Facebook does not have access to interactions with Alexa on Portal,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in an email.Amazon transcribes your voice data to text through a process it calls Automatic Speech Recognition, which then sends it to another process called the Natural Language Understanding System. The NLU system uses artificial intelligence to figure out what people really mean — so if you’re asking “how is it outside,” the system can infer that you mean to ask about the weather. In a white paper on Alexa privacy and data handling published in July, Amazon said text data was stored “for machine learning purposes.” Amazon doesn’t delete that data until the machine learning training is completed. The company didn’t clarify how long that process is.Amazon also keeps text records when people set reminders — so even when the voice recording is deleted, Alexa is still able to send reminders to people based on the text record. Your order history through Alexa also remains, even if you delete the voice recording, the company said. Beyond the data transcribed from a person’s voice commands to Alexa, Amazon also noted that it stored text data on the smart assistant’s responses. In the same document, Amazon stated: “The response can be used by the Amazon team who built the specific skill to ensure that Alexa is providing relevant answers to queries and that the (Text-to-Speech) system is properly translating the text to speech.” While it’s not your voice or something you’ve said, it’s not hard to figure out what a person asked based on the answer. It doesn’t take much to figure out what the question is from a log of Alexa saying “the weather in New York is cloudy this morning.”   Smart Speakers & Displays “When a customer deletes a voice recording, we also delete the corresponding text transcript associated with their account from our main Alexa systems and many subsystems, and have work underway to delete it from remaining subsystems,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an email. The new finding comes as privacy concerns have reached a boiling point, with people scrutinizing the tech they use more than ever. People want privacy from tech giants, and are finding that the options companies offer are not really doing the trick. In April, Facebook admitted it still tracked people after they deactivated their accounts. “Here’s what I tell all of our business executives and consumers: ‘Delete’ is never really ‘delete,'” said Theresa Payton, a former White House chief information officer and founder of cybersecurity company Fortalice. “Delete just means that you can’t see it anymore.” On Thursday, a group of 19 consumer and public health advocates filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission claiming that the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition was retaining children’s data even after parents deleted the voice recordings. The data stored on Alexa’s “Remember” feature wasn’t deleted until the parents called customer service to delete the entire profile. 2:27 Now playing: Watch this: You deleted your Alexa voice recordings, but the text… Comments While you can delete voice recordings for Amazon, the text records stay. Chris Monroe/CNET Amazon doesn’t need to hear your voice recordings to know what you’ve said. It can read them.After Alexa hears its wake word — which can vary from “Echo” to “Alexa” to “computer” — the smart assistant starts listening and transcribes everything it hears. That’s why when you check your Alexa dialogue history, you can see text next to the recordings like “How’s the Weather” and “Set an Alarm.” Amazon lets you delete those voice recordings, giving you a false sense of privacy. But the company still has that data, just not as a sound bite. It keeps the text logs of the transcribed audio on its cloud servers, with no option for you to delete them. Amazon said it erases the text transcripts from Alexa’s “main system,” but is working on removing them from other areas where the data can travel. Share your voice 10 Tagslast_img read more

Actor Tanvir Hasan kills self

first_imgTanvir Hasan SumonActor and director Tanvir Hasan Sumon has reportedly committed suicide in the city’s Uttara area, reports UNB.Police recovered the body from his sister’s house at Road-4 of Uttara Sector-4 on Friday noon.Ishtiaque Ahmed, husband of Tanvir’s sister, said the stage, TV and film actor went to visit their house along with family members from their Mirpur-10 residence.They went to sleep around 12:30am on Friday after having their dinner keeping the door of the room unlocked, he said.The domestic help found Tanvir hanging from a ceiling fan when she went to clean the room on Friday morning, Ishtiaque said, claiming that he had long been suffering from depression.Sub-inspector of Uttara east police station Abdur Rahim said they sent the body to Dhaka Medical College Hospital for autopsy. “The reason behind the death could be known after getting the autopsy report,” he said.Tanvir was a member of Dhaka Little Theatre and Natyakendra.Alongside acting in dramas, he used to do the act of direction.last_img read more

Everybody Wins Hosts 20th Annual Gala

first_imgStudents from Amidon-Bowen Elementary School in S.W. D.C. perform a selection at the Everybody Wins! Gala.On April 22, the D.C. branch of the Everybody Wins! Children and literacy mentoring organization hosted its 20th annual gala celebration. The event, which was hosted at the Capital Hilton in N.W. D.C., was emceed by CNN political correspondent Brianna Keilar. Additionally, Michele Roberts, executive director of the NBA delivered the keynote address.At the event, the organization highlighted its many students and recognized its sponsors.Over the past 20 years, EW!DC has become the largest children’s literacy and mentoring organization in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Since 1995, EW!DC has served more than 60,000 low-income students and distributed nearly 200,000 new books for students to take home.last_img read more

KMC to charge money from owners for not cleaning garbage

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will charge money from owners of private houses, bodies of housing complexes and authorities looking after government properties for not cleaning garbage from their premises.This was decided at a high-level meeting held in the office of Borough XI on Wednesday.Representatives of Boroughs X and XII also attended the meeting. Atin Ghosh, Mayor-in-Council (Health), KMC Commissioner, Director Generals of building, solid waste management also attended the meeting. The Councilors of the Wards under the Boroughs were also present. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeA similar meeting will be held on September 22 in the office of Borough XIV. The senior officials of Boroughs XIII, XIV, XV and XVI will attend the meeting.The meetings are being held as a part of the drives against dengue.It was decided that the KMC will issue notices under Section 496A of the KMC Act to the owners who fail to clear garbage from their premises. The workers of the solid waste management department of the KMC will clear garbage from the premises and in the case of individual houses, the charges will be added to the property tax. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIn case of government properties, the KMC will send the bill to the authorities looking after the buildings.In case the owners fail to pay the money, the KMC will file cases against them in the MunicipalCourt.In case of individual buildingswhere the civic authorities will fail to spot the owners or that are kept under lock and key for years together, the civic authorities in presence of local police will break open the lock and clean the premises. Senior KMC officials said that unless the individual house owners, authorities and bodies looking after the government buildings and housing complexes clean garbage from the premises, it is impossible for KMC to clean garbage from each and every premise which is the responsibility of the owners.They further added that to make the anti-dengue drive successful, cooperation from the owners of houses and authorities of institutional buildings is required.It may be mentioned that the civic authorities are engaging the Durga Puja committees to create awareness against dengue in their respective areas and the best Puja committee will be given cash award.”It is a collective drive and we seek cooperation from people representing all walks of life,” said Atin Ghosh, member, Mayor-in-Council (Health).last_img read more

Perfecto introduces Perfecto Codeless a codeless testing solution based on AI

first_imgJust two days ago, Perfecto, a Perforce Software company introduced Perfecto Codeless, an AI-driven codeless testing solution for eliminating the need for coding skills in the dev testing process. Perfecto Codeless will help the development teams to automate the process of writing test scripts as it comes with machine learning (ML) capabilities. The scripts will be allowed to run continuously and fix themselves without disrupting operations. Eran Yaniv, Founder, and CEO at Perfecto wrote to us in an email, “Across our customer base, the number one cause of automation failure is scripting issues. This a huge barrier for achieving good test automation and teams making their way towards continuous testing. With the introduction of Perfecto Codeless, we are harnessing the power of machine learning to offer the next generation of codeless automation testing capabilities. By eliminating the need to write and maintain test scripts, teams save time and can focus on more complex tasks.” The development teams have the coding skills for writing Selenium or Appium scripts but it is better if their time is spent on product development and innovation. Perfecto Codeless comes with tools that help the teams to quickly generate quality test scripts and maintain them. Features of Perfecto Codeless Smart capabilities to maintain scripts Perfecto’s ML capabilities address object maintenance issues within the code. If there is a need for deleting, moving or changing the code, Perfecto Codeless makes it happen agnostically without delaying the process. Interconnected components All the components of the testing process are connected right from creation to execution and analysis. Codeless automation in the cloud Perfecto Codeless provides codeless test automation in the cloud that allows teams to manage the pace and demands that come with test automation. Perfecto Codeless also provides the flexibility, performance, and scalability needed to ensure quality throughout the SDLC. Eran Kinsbruner, Chief Evangelist at Perfecto wrote to us in an email, “In recent years, codeless test automation has become a top priority for testers, as well as the developers that aim to expedite their test creation and maximize testing reliability. These professionals are looking at codeless as a preferred solution to embed into their testing responsibilities. Perfecto Codeless will take DevOps to the next level, relieving testers and developers of the time-intensive responsibility of coding and giving them time back to focus on product development and innovation to help accelerate the software delivery lifecycle (SDLC) for their business.” Read Next Rachel Batish’s 3 tips to build your own interactive conversational app DeepMind researchers provide theoretical analysis on recommender system, ‘echo chamber’ and ‘filter bubble effect’ Waymo to sell its 3D perimeter LIDAR sensors to companies outside of self-drivinglast_img read more

ACVs new Area Sales Manager – Quebec is a former Transat veteran

first_img Posted by QUEBEC CITY — After spending over 20 years at Transat, Jean-Luc Tremblay is heading to Air Canada Vacations to be its new Area Sales Manager – Quebec.Reporting directly to David Côté, General Manager Sales Quebec & Atlantic, Tremblay will be based in Quebec City where he will represent the city along with the East of Quebec region. He joins ACV’s Quebec Sales team, which comprises Veronica Di Ruocco and Mary-Gina Mercier.Tremblay brings with him over 20 years of experience at Transat where he recently held the position of Area Sales Manager.Dana Gain, Senior Director of Sales, Groups & Partnerships at Air Canada Vacations, said the company is delighted to welcome him to the team. “Jean-Luc’s network of relationships and industry experience will allow us to continue supporting the Quebec City region.”Tremblay is the latest Transat veteran to head to Air Canada Vacations.Last month ACV named Robert Reed, a former director at Transat, as its new Manager of National Accounts.More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionOn June 27 Air Canada and Transat concluded their definitive Arrangement Agreement that provides for Air Canada’s acquisition of all issued and outstanding shares of Transat and its combination with Air Canada. The deal is pending approval from regulators and shareholders. Travelweek Group Tags: ACV, Quebec Sharecenter_img ACV’s new Area Sales Manager – Quebec is a former Transat veteran << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, July 9, 2019 last_img read more