Amazon Confirms Echo Secretly Shared User’s Private Convo
An Oregon woman has urged individuals to “unplug your Alexa devices now”, after her Echo smart speaker secretly recorded and shared a private conversation – an allegation Amazon has since confirmed.
First reported by CBS affiliate ‘KIRO-7‘, the user (Danielle) was informed by her husband’s colleague that he received full audio recordings of conversations between her and her husband.
The conversation – which concerned hardwood floors – was promptly sent to Danielle to verify.
After calling Amazon’s Customer Service, the allegation was confirmed, and acknowledged as “something we need to fix”.
Customer service staff confirmed engineers “went through all of your logs” and “saw exactly what you told us, exactly what you said happened, and we’re sorry.”
Responding to media, Amazon asserts Danielle’s experience is an “extremely rare occurrence”, with steps being implemented to prevent it occurring again.
As per Ars Technica, Amazon has since issued a statement which explains how the circumstance occurred:
“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 customers contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, “[contact name], right?” Alexa then interpreted background conversation as “right.” As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely.”