Amazon personal assistants (Alexa) already in the news for recording private conversations of the user and sending them to contacts without their notice. US Senators Jeff Flake and Chris Coons have sent a number of privacy-related questions about Amazon’s Echo voice secret recording mishap to Jeff Bezos.
Here is the allegation of the Alexa user.
My husband and I would joke and say I’d bet these devices are listening to what we’re saying,” said Danielle, who did not want us to use her last name.
But Danielle said two weeks ago their love for Alexa changed with an alarming phone call. “The person on the other line said, ‘unplug your Alexa devices right now,’” she said. “‘You’re being hacked.’”
“We unplugged all of them and he proceeded to tell us that he had received audio files of recordings from inside our house,” she said. “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.’”
“A husband and wife in the privacy of their home have conversations that they’re not expecting to be sent to someone in their address book,” she said.
It is not the first time for the Amazon to deal with this kind of issue. Back in March, Alexa received complaints from people regarding laughs from the speaker. Few Alexa users have listened to some unprompted laughs from the speaker which leads to a proper fix the device.
The senator panel including Jeff Flake, Chris Coons, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, John Kennedy, Diane Feinstein, Richard Blumenthal, Kamala Harris, and others are demanding answers from Jeff Bezos about the issue.
According to the Wired, the letter contains questions about what is the technique used to anonymize users data, whether the Echo speakers are permitted to record background conversations until the ‘Alexa’ word is audible. Now we are waiting for the Jeff Bezos answers to the user privacy-related issues. It is a huge breach of the user’s privacy and we are expecting a clean anonymity of users privacy from the companies.