From the what-could-possibly-go-wrong dept., Christina Bonnington reports:
St. Louis University is getting into the smart speaker and connected living space trend in a big way. The university announced plans to put a total of 2,300 Amazon Echo Dots in all the student dorms and apartments on campus this week. It’s a curious move that may be welcomed by some—and seen as a privacy intrusion by others.
With the device’s always-on functionality, privacy may be a concern for students. The university says that the Echo units will be attached to a central system, rather than each being tied to an individual student’s Amazon account. That means that the devices will not be able to stream content from someone’s personal Spotify account, for example, only from radio stations like iHeartRadio or TuneIn. That also presumably means that students won’t be able to use the devices to order products from Amazon, as they’d need to be tied to a student’s account and credit card to do so. The devices will not keep recordings of asked questions, and will not store information on users—all usage will be anonymous.
Interestingly, the university isn’t allowing an option for students to opt out of this Alexa program.
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