Published: Fri, May 25, 2018
Industry | By Faith Ward

Amazon Echo could be recording your conversations secretly

Amazon Echo could be recording your conversations secretly

No matter how suspicious it has seemed that Amazon is encouraging us to put listening devices in every room of our homes, the company has always said that its Echo assistants are not listening in on or recording conversations.

The employee said that Alexa, Amazon's popular voice assistant, had recorded the family's conversation and sent it to him.

"Unplug your Alexa devices right now, you're being hacked", Danielle recalled the voice saying. The couple who did not wish to reveal their full identity spoke to KIRO7 on a first name basis.

However, their cosy smart home life was shattered when a call came in from an employee of one of the family members telling them that he had received audio files from someone from 176 miles away.

Amazon confirmed the error in a statement and explained the improbable series of events that took place for it to happen.

The background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customers contact list. It then interpreted the conversation between the woman and her husband as a command to send a message. A sentence in the following conversation sounded like "send message", and, after the virtual assistant asked who the recipient should be, Alexa chose a contact and sent a message based on what it heard.

"As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely", it added.

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For what it's worth, Danielle told ABC that there were no audible warnings from Alexa that it (she?) was doing anything.

According to U.S. broadcaster Kiro 7, every room in the family home was wired with Amazon Echo devices to control the home's heating, lights and security - the ideal IoT cabin.

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

Amazon's Alexa isn't only listening to everything you say - it's absorbing it. At first, the pair found it hard to believe that the smart-speaker might pull such a trick single-handedly and send their conversation to some random contact.

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"I'm never plugging that device in again, because I can't trust it", she stressed. The companies also allow users to access and delete audio recordings that are stored on their servers. But if you want to make sure this doesn't happen to you, then simply avoid sending any kind of messages over Alexa. "It told the media that Alexa mistakenly hear the phrase, 'Alexa, laugh, '" and therefore Aleca laughed.

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