Amazon Reviewers Got Access to Alexa Location Data; Ford Pumps $500 Million into Rivian EVs; San Francisco May Be First City to Ban Facial Recognition; Apple Repairs MacBook Keyboards in Stores Now

More and more people keep buying smart speakers, and at the same time, more keeps coming out about how little protection is available for our personal data collected by them. Now, 9to5google.com reports that Amazon reviewers had access to Alexa location data and even audio clips! The reviewers are an internal team which are working on improving the Alexa product. Although Amazon claims that the geolocation data can’t really identify users, plugging it into Google Maps spits out the exact location in seconds. Yep, more evidence that your private data isn’t yours at all. You’re not going to give up your Alexa device over it either, are you?

Ford has dropped a cool half-billion dollars into Rivian, and intends to build a vehicle on Rivian’s EV platform. According to techcrunch.com, this comes a couple months after a $700 million investment led by Amazon. The most likely vehicles Ford is considering are and SUV and a 5 passenger pickup, as those mirror what Rivian announced last year for its EV platform. Ford already has several EVs in production and coming, including an electric model of its top selling F-150 pickup.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is considering a ban on facial recognition tech. Engadget.com says the ordinance would impose strict limits on what forms of biometric data can be collected by various departments, how and when it’s used, and more. Oakland and Santa Clara already have such laws, but the SF one would flat-out ban the use of facial recognition tech by local government….in fact, it would also nix cell tower spoofers like the Stingray, automated license plate readers (although CalTrans uses these on the Bay Bridge, as does the Golden Gate), Shotspotter, surveillance cameras, RFID, scanners, and more, Stay tuned…

Apple has had issues with its so-called ‘butterfly’ keyboards for some time now. The third generation of the keyboards, which came out in the 2018 MacBook and MacBook Pro models seems to be doing ok, and they are not included in the repair program. 9to5mac.com reports that Apple has started an in-store repair program with one day turnaround. This will be much quicker, and presumably less hassle than shipping them to repair centers.
Cupertino says they have already trained up staff and shipped parts to Apple stores.

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