Amazon Echo could be recording your conversations secretly


Puneesh Kumar, Country Manager for Alexa Experience and Devices, Amazon India confirmed the development and said that they are offering Embassy Group technology to turn its homes into voice-enabled smart homes with its Echo devices, powered by Alexa Voice Service.

Amazon said it's working to make this unlikely string of events even more unlikely.

"Unplug your Alexa devices right now, you're being hacked", Danielle recalled the voice saying.

That's what happened in the incident, Amazon said. More than 60 million USA consumers will use a smart speaker at least once a month this year, with more than 40 million of them using Amazon's devices, according to eMarketer Inc.

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"I felt invaded! Like total privacy invasion".

She added: "Immediately I said: "I'm never plugging that device in again, because I can't trust it".

Its retail giant's critics argue that by selling its "Rekognition" technology, which can identify, track and analyze people in real time, to United States law enforcement and local authorities, Amazon threatens civil freedoms.

When stories about Amazon Echo's Alexa laughing maniacally apropos of nothing started to make the rounds, a lot of people joked it was the beginning of the inevitable robot apocalypse. Additionally, Amazon Echo devices can also enable residents to have greener lifestyle by automating their homes to optimise the energy consumption. But, imagine Alexa listening to you secretly while you talk with your wife, record that conversation and then send it to some random person who is your contact list.

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According to the report, the couple came to know about the recording when Danielle's husband's employee called them and informed that he has received audio files for their conversations. The pair continued talking in the background and the Echo's system interpreted part of the chat to identify a name in the couple's contact list.

As of now, only Amazon Echo Plus smart speaker features a built-in smart home hub that connects and controls ZigBee smart devices. The company sent engineers to investigate, who verified that Alexa had indeed recorded the family's conversation.

While it's unlikely this happens very often, it's certainly a wake up to anyone who's thinking about filling their home with smart speakers. "Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a "send message" request", a spokesman said.

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