Dali Smart Lamp raises privacy concerns

Occurred: February 2021-

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A desk lamp for school children equipped with cameras, posture recognition, and full-screen advertising raised concerns about surveillance and privacy.

Developed by TikTok owner Bytedance, the Dali Smart Lamp is equipped an AI-powered digital assistant to help with vocabulary and math problems, and with two surveillance cameras - one mounted on the front and one on the top - to help parents keep an eye on their kids while they're doing homework. The lamp can be connect to a parent's smartphone, with the cameras allowing parents to see both their child's face and their homework while video chatting.

A more expensive version of the lamp is able to recognise when children slouch, automatically sending alerts to their parents. While the Dali Smart Lamp is said to have sold well amongst Chinese consumers, it has also been described as 'weird' and 'creepy', particularly in western countries where the monitoring of schools kids and parental oversight of children tends to be less overt and intrusive.


Operator: Bytedance/Beijing Kongming Technology  
Developer: Bytedance
Country: China
Sector: Consumer goods
Purpose: Increase learning efficiency
Technology: Posture detection/recognition; Deep learning; Neural network; Machine learning
Issue: Privacy; Surveillance
Transparency: Privacy