High Tech Racing Lawmakers on Restoring Privacy in Some Areas

The word to watch in the run-up to the next election is privacy. Privacy is not something we get any more when we sign online or ask questions of Alexa. By now most of us have heard about the number of security breaches and data stealing on all levels of our computer/real-life interface.

But California seems to have had enough of outright high tech spying of its citizens. And high tech is taking a preemptive move or two to avoid these local, lower level legislative moves, from becoming federal level problems. Or more than they already have.

California lawmakers to restrict Alexa data and facial recognition.

Recently, Amazon rolled out voice commands to delete the recordings that take place every time you use the “Alexa” wake word so users can protect their privacy without the need to open the Alexa app or dig through the Amazon website.

According to an article by Khari Johnson in venturebeat.com, just hours before the new voice command was announced, the California State Assembly passed the Anti-Eavesdropping Act. The legislation will now be considered by the California State Senate. AB 1395 requires the makers of ambient listening devices like smart speakers to receive consent from users before recording their voices. Legislation nearly passed last month in the Illinois state legislature that would have done the same.

Tech giants like Facebook and Google have been vocal in recent weeks about the importance of privacy. Both have had some pretty serious security breaches in recent months.

At the F8 developer conference in April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared:

“The future is private” and expounded on plans to make end-to-end encryption part of all of its messaging apps.

Seeflection.com, recently reported on the S.F Board of Supervisors who reigned in the use of facial recognition software on police departments surveillance cameras.

This is likely only the beginning of a lot of campaign rhetoric claiming how much each party cares about our privacy.

Fortune.com says:

“Already, there’s a growing sense that Democrats and Republicans could come together on privacy legislation, if for no other reason than out of concern that a hastily written law in California that takes effect in 2020 needs to be pre-empted, legislative jargon for passing a bill that subordinates state law to federal statute.”

On Thursday The Wall Street Journal reported that a New York state regulator is looking into Facebook’s data-collection methods in response to a Journal investigation. Its roundup story described similar investigations around the world.

read more at fortune.com