Alexa speaker recorded, shared private conversation

The contact, who was one of her husband's work employees, told the woman to "unplug your Alexa devices right now". The Alexa voice inside the Echo has a series of checks to ensure that messages are not sent without the explicit consent of the people stood around the device but somehow Alexa mistakenly thought that those checks had been satisfied.

To play an audiobook in your library, just say: "Alexa, read ..."

Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo devices are meant to make home life a little easier, enabling users to ask questions on the fly, plan days out and, apparently, record your conversations unknowingly before sending it to members of your contact list. After calling multiple times and speaking with an assortment of Amazon employees, the family finally spoke with an Amazon engineer.

Hours after the report came out, Amazon acknowledged that was a sort of glitch with this particular Echo Dot speaker and that Alexa misunderstood the conversation as a command.

Danielle explained her whole house was wired with Amazon devices, something not uncommon for fans of the Alexa units.

There have always been accusations that digital assistants such as Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri are constantly listening in on and recording conversations, and recent events in Portland, Oregon are simply going to serve as extra fuel for conspiracy theorists.


The woman called Amazon to complain, and the company apologized for the mistake, saying it takes privacy concerns very seriously.

"I felt invaded", Danielle said.

Amazon offered to "de-provision" the communication features of the woman's Echo device so that she could continue using the smart home features.

This ensures the listening possibilities are "practically endless with an Audible membership", with more about listening to Audible with Alexa available here. "Alexa then asked out loud, '[contact name], right?' Alexa then interpreted background conversation as 'right".

"I'm never plugging that device in again, because I can't trust it", she stressed. Amazon blamed the "extremely rare" incident on an unlikely sequence of events. "We are taking steps to avoid this from happening in the future", the company said in a statement. After asking "to Whom?" should the message be sent, more background conversation was interpreted as a name in the family contacts list. Even Amazon agrees that this was an unlikely chain of events, but says it is working on ways to make it even more unlikely to repeat. Two weeks ago, she received an urgent message from one of her husband's colleagues, who lived in Seattle, that her digital assistant was likely hacked as he received a recording of her private conversation with her husband.


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