Friday, November 16, 2018
Want this cute robot dog? Tough — Illinois law keeps Sony from selling it here
My brother was in Tokyo a few weeks ago, looked at this robot dog, and noticed the line about it not being sold in Illinois. He mentioned it to me, and I started to probe into why, and stumbled upon next week's Supreme Court case. As I often say in this job, sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.
Meet Aibo, Sony’s new robotic dog, introduced in the United States in September.
Cute, right? Sits on command. Plays with his cute little pink ball — Aibo loves pink. Scratch his cute round head and he dips it and wags his cute tail, adorably. He has a camera in his nose.
Would you like to own Aibo, maybe to liven up your Gold Coast apartment without the bother of taking an actual living dog on unpleasant, windswept walks in the wintertime?
Too bad. You can’t have him. And not just because of the price — about $3,000, a night on the town for Chicago’s nouveau rich.
No, you can’t have Aibo because nobody in the state can buy him. Sony won’t sell him in Illinois. It says so on Sony’s Aibo website if you try to order the little pup:
“This product is not for sale or use in the State of Illinois, and may not be shipped to purchasers in Illinois.”
Aw, gee. We know Illinois has problems. But are we so screwed up that multinational corporations won’t sell us a dog? Illinois is the only state in the country where Aibo is not sold.
What makes us so special?
Meet the 2008 Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. Without going too far into the legal weeds...
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