Amazon Accidentally Sent A Person 1,700 Recordings From A Stranger

Harin - Dec 21, 2018

Amazon Accidentally Sent A Person 1,700 Recordings From A Stranger

Let’s imagine, you own several Amazon Alexas and place them around your house. Maybe you put one Echo in your living space, connect an Amazon Fire Stick to your TV. Perhaps you speak with Alexa to control and monitor your smart home, play music during shower and set alarms. Then suddenly one day, a stranger receive more than 1,700 Alexa recordings of you. And you have no clue about this until a magazine reaches out to you.

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This actually happened in Germany as the story was reported in the c’t magazine. Apparently, an Amazon user living in Germany requested his personal activities data from the website. He was shocked to find out he received 1,700 audio files of a stranger talking to Amazon Alexa. Scary enough, there was even a file record this person during shower.

He provided the German magazine with these recording. The magazine was later able to contact the owner of these audios who has a house full of Alex devices. According to the magazine, the audio files were in German and included a lot of personal information of the person, from his name, where he lived to his music taste and his partner.

Turns out, the firm had not got in touch with him about the data leak. But three days after the c’t magazine reached out to the firm, both the file receiver and the victim received a call from Amazon. A representative from the company said that this was only a one-time error made by their staff.

The story reveals an alarming fact that when you talk to Alexa, your voice is indeed recorded and stored by Amazon. According to Amazon, it is essential for the company to keep these audio files as they want to enhance its systems of voice recognition. However, for those who regularly talk to their Alexa should think carefully before spilling any secrets.

When being asked about this matter, a representative from the company said that:


Amazon confirmed that it had sent an apology to both customers as well as getting in touch with the regulatory authorities which include the General Data Protection Regulation administrators of the European Union.


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