Amazon’s Alexa Echo accidentally recorded and shared a private conversation – prompting concerns about these devices and how much privacy we are giving up when we put them in our homes.
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There have been some comical stories about Amazon Alexa devices improperly hearing commands – but this latest one has sparked privacy concerns about how far Alexa’s oversharing could go.
According to Washington State’s KIRO 7, a family in Portland, Oregon, had an interesting chain of events with their Amazon Alexa Echo.
The family received a phone call and the caller told them to, “Unplug your Alexa devices right now ….“You’re being hacked.”
Reportedly, what happened was the family’s Echo devices sent recordings of a private conversation to someone in their contact list. In this case, it was one of the husband’s employees.
The family had their entire house wired with Amazon devices, used to control their security, heat and lights – but after this incident they unplugged everything.
The family contacted Amazon, and the company investigated the matter, and apologized.
“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 . . . This is something we need to fix,” Amazon said in a statement.
Amazon told KIRO 7 that what happened was “an extremely rare occurrence,” and that they are taking steps to avoid this from happening in the future.