An Ethics Challenge: Stop Privacy Protection from Impeding the Development of Baby Tech

As time flows, people tend to have higher and higher standards for the services they receive. They ask for more functionality and customization, but at the same time, they also tend to be picky about things they need to provide for such services. A contradiction essentially forms here: users are more willing to click the “decline” button when a service provider asks for an access to their data. However, without enough data from users, the service provider can never maintain high service standards.

This problem is especially obvious in baby tech. Babies are vulnerable. We have laws to force parents to protect their babies as much as possible. As a result, parents are more likely to embrace a kind of isolation for babies, which may also decline any possible data sharing a baby tech product might need. However, such isolation can be critical to some baby tech products. For example, a baby tracker cannot work properly if parents do not allow their babies’ location data to be sent to the manufacturer’s supporting server. Admittedly, some baby trackers use the Bluetooth technology to kind of bypass this awkwardness. But such compromise obscures the potential of GPS technology in those baby tech products.

Although this ethics challenge looks like a user-driven problem, I do not think customers should be blamed here. On the contrary, it explicitly reflects that customers are not quite trust those baby tech products and baby tech companies should think about how to mitigate this trust problem. For example, a feasible solution here can be a more robust privacy protection mechanism with a more intuitive advertising method for such effort.

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