Amazon devices recording, sending your conversations?

Posted May 25, 2018

According to Seattle television station KIRO, a private conversation between a woman identified only as Danielle, and her husband, was secretly recorded by the Alexa digital assistant on their Echo devices, and sent to a person who was on the family's contacts list.The recording took place inside the family's home in Portland, Oregon.

Despite Amazon emphasising that this is a rarity, DotWeekly reported of an incident not too dissimilar, in which Jamie Zoch describes his own experience of receiving another family's private Easter conversation through his Echo.

"The person on the other line said, 'Unplug your Alexa devices right now, you're being hacked, '" she said. The couple who did not wish to reveal their full identity spoke to KIRO7 on a first name basis.

The recipient spilled that in the recording, Danielle and her husband were talking about hardwood floors.

Amazon in its response to Kiro 7 said this was an extremely rare occurrence and it was investigating the incident. "Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like "Alexa".

'A husband and wife in the privacy of their home have conversations that they're not expecting to be sent to someone [in] their address book, ' she told KIRO. Alexa then asked out loud, '[contact name], right?'

"As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely", the company said. We're told that you can "rest assured you'll always pick up right where you left off when switching between Alexa and the Audible app", and that with the "Whispersync for Voice" feature, "you can also switch between reading and listening with over 30,000 compatible audiobooks in the Kindle app".

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Amazon Echo secretly sent family's private audio to some random person

The program activates by saying the word "Alexa", then a command, like "play music". Well, neither the family nor Amazon seem to really know at this time.

What is said on Alexa should stay on Alexa.

Command "Alexa, send a message to (enter contact name)" and Amazon's smart assistant will follow your instructions.

Danielle said she listened to the conversation when it was sent back to her.

"I felt invaded. Immediately I said, "I'm never plugging that device in again, because I can't trust it".

A number of privacy concerns have been raised in recent months around Amazon's Alexa-enabled speakers. "It told the media that Alexa mistakenly hear the phrase, 'Alexa, laugh, '" and therefore Aleca laughed.

These recordings are then stored on Amazon's servers. Amazon is yet to clarify this, but many users of the home speakers will ask whether there are cases where Alexa could be recording without their explicit permission.

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