When one thinks of “digital assistants,” such as Amazon Echo and Google Assistant, one might automatically think of these devices as being used in private, in one’s home. However, these devices are also being promoted as useful in the classroom (e.g., see here and here and here).
Although one might view digital assistants as merely helpful, hands-off operators of one’s other digital devices, there’s more to the story of who, exactly, is being “helped.”
It seems that those digital assistants are also created to gather information on their users, for the benefit of the corporate world.
In December 2017, Consumer Watchdog posted this summary of patents filed by Google and Amazon related to their digital assistants’ information-gathering capabilities. Consider the following, keeping in mind the privacy concerns (and associated liabilities for teachers and schools) that such capabilities pose in the classroom setting:
A new study reveals that Amazon and…
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