Will you donate to a presidential candidate via Alexa?

Interesting article on Fox Business this AM about a new feature of Amazon’s Alexa that allows people to donate to a political campaign through the little internet connected smart speaker sitting on their kitchen counter.

I mean.. what could go wrong with that?

“With Alexa Political Contributions you can donate to participating 2020 U.S. presidential campaigns by simply saying “Alexa, I want to make a political contribution” or “Alexa, donate [amount] to [candidate name]”. Amazon Pay will process the donation using the information and default payment method stored in your Amazon account and will email you a receipt for your records,” the company wrote on its website to announce the program.


And how can we know that Amazon – which spent more than $14 million on lobbying and over $13 million in political contributions in 2018 – won’t use all of that political spending data to shape its own political spending strategy the way the company uses sales data to shape its marketing and product development?

Even without a team of government-backed hackers on their side, foreign parties may be able to manipulate this new Alexa feature through basic steps to mask their location and true identity, creating multiple – even thousands – of Amazon accounts for the purposes of donating to a candidate and influencing elections. A Prime account only costs $12.99 a month, a pittance to a nation intent on meddling in our elections.

Read the entire story here.

What do you think?

I don’t know that technology in elections is a bad thing. But, I think it may be quickly drawing up to a line that we probably need to start questioning whether it should be crossed.

3 Replies to “Will you donate to a presidential candidate via Alexa?”

  1. John Dale

    Absolutely not. As a follower of “advancements” in AI, I am convinced that human agency and freedom have been stolen by technocratic elites who operate under the influence of big pharma (microdosing is the latest trend).

    As such, the stated purpose of the designs of these systems differs from their potential a great deal. “We’ll help you donate” becomes “we will find out where you are psychologically and socially, and change that trajectory to suit us”.

    Software Architects and Engineers like me a working feverishly against surmountable but daunting odds to create human-focused systems, but we need your help.

    Humanity first. Alexa is a wast of resources, time, and money. Donate with a cash or check cashed by a banker you can look in the eye.

    1. Jupiter Base Lansing

      Young JDale I use Alexa for everything. Once Kamala Harris & Bernie Sanders ticket have won the DNC nomination I will direct Alexa to donate from my Peoples Bank of China account. Think Big!

  2. jackrabit1

    I don’t even donate to Presidential candidates NOW. Why would I let technology do that for me? LOL