Amazon Echo, the smart speaker from the e-commerce site, has found itself in the middle of privacy breach, once again. Just a month after the reports that the Alexa-powered speaker is secretly listening to your conversation, it went a step forward by sharing them with others without owner’s consent.
A Portland, Oregon family has claimed that their Amazon Echo listened to their conversation, recorded it, and sent it to a random person on their contact list. They got to know about the incident when the same person sent them the audio files of their chats that he’d received from their smart speaker.
Following which, the family unplugged all the Echo-powered devices from their home and contacted Amazon.
“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!” said a family member.
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As for the Amazon part, here’s what they have to say:
“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.”
Although the family is seeking a full refund for the damage, Amazon has reportedly only offered to ‘de-provision’ their Alexa communications.