naked cap: Why You Should NEVER Buy an Amazon Echo or Even Get Near One.

At some time in the not too distant future, analysts will be able to make queries like, “Tell me who was within 15 feet of Person X at least eight times in the last six months.” That will produce a reliable list of their family, friends, lovers, and other close associates.

Sounds paranoid at first read. Most of you here know I've been having a 'war' with Pinterest's AI. I can confirm today that they are somehow scraping information from what I watch on Netflix. The other morning, after having a conversation about neutral tones in our home, articles began to show up in my Flipboard feed ... within five minutes. I suspect Flipboard either listened through my microphone, or linked my interests to my wife's browser-searches - either way, creepy. I had done absolutely no searches or written requests for neutral tone info. These things are being performed *without our consent.* We have no mechanism of control - and that's what I object to.

There are so many positive things these technologies could be used for. They could, for instance, detect educational deficits and gently prod people into greater knowledge. Instead, we are being herded like cattle to the halls of throwaway consumerism. 

AI influence via shadowy third parties is coming, faster than you realize. I urge you to experiment with your own social channels, start noticing the patterns of what you're being fed by automation.

Later: Some are pointing to Facebook's Messenger app as a 'listener'. Can't find the link now, but I expect it will be discussed more widely in short order, if true.

Even later: Facebook Messenger, debunked, as expected. Yet. I dug around for a simple voice analysis program, and found patents going back to 2011 for "keyword recognition in conversation". That's dog years ago. 

NY Times: Equifax, Bowing to Public Pressure, Drops Credit-Freeze Fees for 30 Days.

It’s a logical reaction: You didn’t ask Equifax to vacuum up data about you, and then resell it to marketers and loan sellers. And it isn’t your fault that the company couldn’t keep that data safe. So why should you pay for a freeze, which keeps new creditors from seeing your credit file and thus can keep thieves from applying for credit in your name?

Somehow, that question did not occur to Equifax on Thursday, when it first announced the breach.