Alexa has no problem when you need to start up a new playlist, turn on lights, and can even tell you fart jokes. Unfortunately, what the Amazon Echo can’t seem to do is stop listening to your private conversations. Maybe it’s more than just a crazy theory that these devices are always listening. A couple had to learn this lesson the hard way, because their Amazon Echo not only recorded their entire conversation but also sent it to a random contact.
It wasn’t until after the conversation was done and sent that an employee contacted them to let them know to unplug all of their Amazon Echo devices.
Danielle, the victim of the Amazon Echo recording, said:
We unplugged all of them and he proceeded to tell us that he had received audio files of recordings from inside our house.
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.’
After a brief moment of disbelief, the recipient played back the audio that they received, and sure enough, it was Danielle and her husband, talking about hardwood floors.
I felt invaded. A total privacy invasion. Immediately I said, ‘I’m never plugging that device in again, because I can’t trust it.’
So how can this possibly happen? Amazon spokesperson Shelby Lichliter issued the following statement:
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 customer’s 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.
That’s… that’s just really creepy.
Previous to Shelby Lichliter’s statement, there was a general statement from Amazon that stated: “Amazon takes privacy very seriously.” Just not so serious that it won’t record private conversations and then send them to your coworkers.
My wife asked why I carried a gun around the house. I told her:fear of CIA. She Laughed, I laughed, the Amazon Echo Laughed. I shot the Echo
— Ron Futrell (@RonFutrell) March 7, 2017
Yikes! Does this make you think twice about Amazon Echo or any other advice like that? Leave us a comment and tell us your thoughts!
If you aren’t creeped the f*** out, buy an Amazon Echo here: