The Complexities of Technology Integrations

When it comes to voice assistants, there are some troubling issues beyond the simple fact that they were untruthful about listening. ICYMI, reportedly thousands of employees at Amazon are listening to customers, likely hearing quite intimate and perhaps illicit conversations; yet they claimed they weren’t listening. So what are the limits of their liability? And what do they do with the qualitative and quantitative data? We can and should question this when tech companies like Amazon get this information.

And recently Facebook admitted to the “accidental” uploading of over 1.5 million emails of their users, people who were simply trying to get a Facebook account. What to make of these things? How is consumer privacy protected?

These issues don’t exist in a vacuum as many products and services are integrated with voice interaction, or cloud storage, or other use of consumer and business data into third party items. In fact it is increasingly likely you offer Alexa or Google Assistant in your offering, and may host customer data in their or others’ cloud services. What is your liability when there is a breech or misuse?

Have you taken steps to understand the pros and cons of allowing consumers’ control of these services? The option to turn them off for example? We can give some credit to Facebook for simply offering a cover for their camera in the always-on Portal (with no comment on the item itself) to offer some security. What’s your game plan as you integrate?

These are big issues of the day. Given this, product strategies are more complicated than ever. They intermingle with almost all parts of your business including customer service, legal, sales, and marketing. From your customers’ perspective, they are growing more uncomfortable and angry given the recent headlines, and have a collective power via social media and with their wallets. If nothing else, we urge you to please get informed. For starters, you can read this article from Bloomberg about how Amazon employees are listening into what you tell Alexa.

At bluesalve partners we are staying on top of technology trends and have deep experience with navigating the complexities that they bring. Our team of seasoned #IOT experts are ready to help you with market readiness. 

By: Robert Heiblim, Partner
Follow Robert on Twitter @rheiblim