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Amazon Alexa Device Accused of Eavesdropping

Woman says her Amazon device recorded private conversation, sent it out to random contact.

By: Gary Horcher – Updated: 

A Portland family contacted Amazon to investigate after they say a private conversation in their home was recorded by Amazon’s Alexa — the voice-controlled smart speaker — and that the recorded audio was sent to the phone of a random person in Seattle, who was in the family’s contact list.

“My husband and I would joke and say I’d bet these devices are listening to what we’re saying,” said Danielle, who did not want us to use her last name.

Every room in her family home was wired with the Amazon devices to control her home’s heat, lights and security system.

But Danielle said two weeks ago their love for Alexa changed with an alarming phone call. “The person on the other line said, ‘unplug your Alexa devices right now,'” she said. “‘You’re being hacked.'”

That person was one of her husband’s employees, calling from Seattle.

“We unplugged all of them and he proceeded to tell us that he had received audio files of recordings from inside our house,” she said. “At first, my husband was, like, ‘no you didn’t!’ And the (recipient of the message) said ‘You sat there talking about hardwood floors.’ And we said, ‘oh gosh, you really did hear us.'”

Danielle listened to the conversation when it was sent back to her, and she couldn’t believe someone 176 miles away heard it too.

“I felt invaded,” she said. “A total privacy invasion. Immediately I said, ‘I’m never plugging that device in again, because I can’t trust it.'”

Danielle says she unplugged all the devices, and she repeatedly called Amazon. She says an Alexa engineer investigated.

“They said ‘our engineers went through your logs, and they saw exactly what you told us, they saw exactly what you said happened, and we’re sorry.’ He apologized like 15 times in a matter of 30 minutes and he said we really appreciate you bringing this to our attention, this is something we need to fix!”

[snip]


“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 said.


Read more at KIRO7

H/T: Redoubt News


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nancy.larned

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2 comments

  1. Why am I NOT surprised by this? All electronic devices can be used to record everything that is within their hearing range, or in their visual line. Alexa is touted as a useful tool that presumably saves time. Convenience. Just as money cards are a convenience, but can be used to track all your purchases. When you search for convenience, they have you in their trap. No privacy. Complete control.

    I’m not the least bit surprised. Artificial Intelligence is being touted as the best thing since sliced bread. Guess what? It will be convenient, but you will have no privacy and no control. Welcome to the New World Order.

    Shorty Dawkins

  2. Gee it is hard to believe that some people have no clue as to what is going on. Well I am glad she found out and she sounds like she is boiling. Maybe she will start letting her friends know they are living in 1984.

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