We live in a world where everyday objects like your your television or cell phone can be used as a surveillance tool. Just this month, Amazon released data from one of their Echo products as testimony in a murder case. In the midst of all this paranoia, entrepreneur Daniel Eckler has just launched a line of noise-canceling Hearmuffs for your Amazon Echo. These rabbit’s foot-like mufflers cover the microphone of your device, shielding you from anyone attempting to use invasive audio surveillance tools. “People have been taping their webcams for years in an effort to combat visual surveillance, but there is no parallel for audio,” Eckler tells Creators. “With an increasing amount of devices listening to us 24/7, it’s important we continue to consider and address this.”
A few weeks after Eckler bought himself an Echo, he began to notice that every once in awhile his device would make a responsive noise when he hadn’t said anything. He had read about the potential dangers of these voice-controlled devices but hadn’t experienced the apprehension first hand. “I don’t censor myself in my house and I don’t intend to soon.”
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Eckler began doing research on privacy laws and found that under the Fourth Amendment, if you have installed a device that’s listening and is transmitting to a third party, then you’ve waived your privacy rights under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. “Reasonable privacy doesn’t exist,” he tells Creators. What worried Eckler most was the device’s potential to manipulate our behavior. He says that, when being watched, “People become much more compliant and conformist (due to not wanting to feel shame) and consequently make decisions not as the result of agency, but rather the mandates of societal orthodoxy.”
Hearmuffs come in a variety of different colors and shapes so you can choose the one that best represents your inner anti-surveillance advocate. Pre-order yours now by clicking here, and check out Daniel Eckler on Twitter.
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