A Seatlle family discovered to their horror that their Amazon Echo device had been secretly recording conversations of them and then in one incident, it took one of their conservations that was recorded and sent it to one of their contacts via text message. This was all without their permission or knowledge. The way the couple found out about this was, one of the husband's employees contacted them saying that a audio text message was sent to him where they were talking about hard wood floors. Of course the couple was horrified and the wife said it was "A total privacy invasion. Immediately I said, 'I'm never plugging that device in again, because I can't trust it.'"
How does this happen? The fact that these devices can be and at times are watching us and recording us, is scary. Is it on purpose or just a malfunction or both? A spokesperson for Amazon commented on this latest incident out of Seattle with this family, saying: “Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like 'Alexa.' Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a 'send message' request. At which point, Alexa said out loud 'To whom?' At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customer's contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, '[contact name], right?' Alexa then interpreted background conversation as 'right."
Amazon says "unlikely" string of events led an Echo personal assistant device to record a family's private conversation and send it to an acquaintance. https://t.co/wmIBeBQ6Cx— AP West Region (@APWestRegion) May 24, 2018
Apparently sending an audio recorded message is a standard feature with Alexa so sometimes if Alexa thinks it hears it's "wake word", which is "Alexa", it will then start interpreting what you are trying to say or the command it thinks you might be asking and thus who you are trying to send a message to based on whatever convo you are having. This can be alarming for people who have multiple Amazon devices in their homes. We hear about people putting tape over their laptop computers and tablets or even phones but will people now have to keep plugging in and unplugging in their device like a chore? Unfortunately the only way to be sure a device like this doesn't record your conversation and send it off to others is by unplugging it! Do you think this will cause a decrease in the sales of Amazon devices?
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