What are you worth as chattel to be bought by and sold to marketers, political groups, advocacy groups, etc.?
Through their product pricing, Amazon gives us some data from which we can learn just how much we’re worth as a product. That is, Amazon shows what we’re worth to companies that break into our information homes and steal information about us in order to put us – in the form of our valuable personal intellectual property – on their balance sheet as a money-making product.
Our value as a product can be gleaned from the difference between the price we pay for products that don’t spy on us versus those that do spy on us. The difference is the value of the spying.
Let’s use music streaming devices as our basis of comparison. The average price of these music streaming systems, as compiled by What HiFI (https://www.whathifi.com/best-buys/streaming/best-music-streamers) is $876.59.
And according to the evaluation of Amazon Echo Input, the product is
A great way to bring streaming and Alexa voice control to your existing speakers.
Outputs: Bluetooth | Inputs: Micro USB and 3.5mm | Hi-res support: n/a | File formats: Most | Dimensions: 1.4 x 8 x 8 cm | Weight: 79g
Reasons to Buy:
Solid sound quality
Reasons to Avoid:
No phono or optical connectors
There's also a 3.5mm input. This wired connection places responsibility for sound quality onto the Input's DAC, and other than slightly low volume output, we have no complaints about audio quality, considering the price. That makes it an attractive prospect and the most affordable way to try out Alexa or multi-room music streaming. Give it a whirl - what have you got to lose?
Wait… I’m buying a device that lets me listen to music, but one “reason to buy” is “Sensitive microphones.” Why does my music player need a microphone?
Why Didn’t They Mention This One More Reason to Avoid…?
Well of course one more “reason to avoid” is that it includes Alexa, which listens to everything in your room – even when you tell it to stop listening! “Amazon voice control” - the folks who created that feature name probably snicker over their clever use of the word “control,” to be interpreted by you and me to mean control by us of the operation of the equipment, while to them it means control of us.
The only “reason to avoid” according to this review site is “No phono or optical connectors.”
Wait, howbout the fact that the thing will spy on you and your family?
Intriguing, isn’t it, that they don’t even mention that obvious issue. So unless you are a thinking person who rises above marketing hypnosis, you are hypnotized by not just Amazon but by the whole Silibandia hypnosis machine – product review sites included.
(Silibandia = Silicon Valley + the broadband and media industries.)
Sell To You And Sell You To
And the information it gathers while listening simply supplements the rest of the spyware machine that is Amazon. Combine information about when you listen and what you listen to with all the other things you do on Amazon – the books you buy, which reflect your education and political and religious leanings, and you have a valuable digital version of you to “sell you to” and “sell to you.” That is, Amazon can productize the digital you and sell you to their vendors and various other marketing companies, political parties / candidates, advocacy organizations; and they can use that knowledge of you to predict what you will buy next and sell it to you.
So, what is the digital you worth as a product?
Looks like you’re worth $876.59 minus $34.99, right?
As a product you are worth $841.60.