EU launches antitrust investigation based on data gathered by voice assistants

The EU is launching an antitrust investigation into the work of voice assistants, for example, at Siri from Apple and Alexa from Amazon. In total, 400 companies worldwide fall under business. Regulators will check how IT companies use user data collected by voice assistants, according to competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

According to the publication, the commission has already found signs that IT companies may restrict access to certain data and filter the issuance or intentionally produce devices that are incompatible with competitors’ products.

Authorities will find out how individual products work and what their business model is. Regulators want to learn how data is collected and used, as well as how companies make money from the data they collect.

When large companies begin to use power, they can very quickly push markets to a critical point when competition becomes a monopoly. We must not allow this with the Internet of things.

Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner for Competition

According to Vestager, one of the key issues is data. Voice assistants and smart devices can collect a huge amount of data about our behavior. And there is a risk that large companies will abuse the information gathered.

The European Commission is also interested in possible problems with the compatibility of different devices and services. Perhaps, according to the results of the investigation, a law on their joint work will be introduced.

Regulators plan to disclose preliminary results of the investigation in early 2021. The final report is going to be released in 2022.

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