Originally Posted by UltraMega
Generally speaking, there is no real evidence that they are.
Public companies are legally bound to work in their shareholders' best interests. Turning down money because it would be unethical is rarely in that playbook. Turning down money because it would be illegal is more often, but not always effective.
This is bad reasoning. Anytime you ask something unfalsifiable in a debate, you know you have a weak point. In an actual debate, this would be a very poor tactic and you would probably lose your argument. It's also just bad reasoning. There are always bad guys out there in the world, yet statistically speaking everything gets more peaceful over time. If we bring math into this there is strong evidence to suggest that whatever issues there are related to data mining would have an even smaller negative impact in the future. Just saying "how do you know it wont get worse?" with no reasoning as to why it should, is just a bad argument. It's the kind of argument you get a lot from these.. sky is falling down types.
We're arguing about what precautions we should take to mitigate known and unknown risks. It's not "sky is falling" it's "we're sliding down a mountain, maybe we should grab onto something". Hell, with these voice recognition systems in place, if a government agency wants to spy on you, they don't have to break into your house and plant bugs, they just send Amazon, Google, or Apple a national security letter.
It violates international laws and there would be a trial overseen by the UN. Guilty parties go to jail. Or maybe war? Or maybe the companies just say no because they know they could never operate in the US or any other allied nation if they did anything like that and got caught. People go to jail over mishandling private data all the time.
Lets take a look at China, Google already went back on a promise to not censor their search results, and were hiding data collection practices from their own privacy team.
If you're running for office and you have some kind of criminal record that you're trying to hid, I have no sympathy. I think society has already decided that our leaders should be held to higher standards. Also, ya know... it would be illegal and if you did that to your competitor you would just go to jail. If I put a hidden camera in your house and then show the footage, it doesn't become OK just because you're running for office. It would be a very obvious crime.
Talking about audio, not video. The crime isn't in releasing recordings, but recording people that don't know about it(different laws depending on state. It would shock me if they haven't broken some states' wiretapping laws "unintentionally".) This kind of stuff is buried in the terms of service nobody reads. Doesn't even have to be anything breaking the law, maybe you had a conversation ten years ago about whether people with downs syndrome should be allowed to reproduce.
And I've got a bridge to sell you if you think that have people at their company working on identifying individuals and building up personal info about them. Could they figure out how to reverse engineer the data mining process and start tying names to anonymous data points, sure... but people who build billion dollar tech companies don't do it to make relatively small amounts of profit off data mining, and they don't risk going to jail over what would just be a distraction from their main profits anyway.
Why oh why doesn't all this data targeting happen all the time and how can anyone think it won't be the Skynet death of us all in the future? Well because its illegal to do those things and historically speaking, good wins over evil. If that changes we are all screwed anyway so it's a non-issue.
Um how exactly are they supposed to target ads to you if they don't know who you are? And good doesn't win over evil, the winner just gets to write the rules.
Just dont buy an Echo if this really bothers you that much.
Was given an echo once, re-gifted it to someone that already used them.