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Of Privacy and Alexa eavesdropping scandal

A Portland woman claims that her Amazon Echo device secretly recorded a private conversation between her and her husband and sent it to an acquaintance of theirs.

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

And one day they received an alarming phone call.

“The person on the other line said, ‘unplug your Alexa devices right now,'” she said. “‘You’re being hacked.'”

Turns out Alexa recorded and sent their conversation. And here is Amazon’s explanation.

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.” (via)

Well..

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