Voice activated home devices have become a common part of the modern household. It all started with Amazon’s Echo devices but Apple and Google are among the many companies who make similar devices now. Many people fear that these devices will be used to gather personal data of its users and based on this Bloomberg report, these fears are very rational.
Alexa is listening to us after all. A married Seattle couple found out that their Amazon Echo had sent their friend a recording of a private conversation they were having about hardwood floors. “My husband and I would joke and say, ‘I’d bet these devices are listening to what we’re saying,’” said the woman who would come to learn that she had been betrayed by her live-in robot assistant.
An acquaintance who received the recording of their conversation called her with a warning: “Unplug your Alexa devices right now. You’re being hacked.”
It honestly sounds too crazy to be true. But this isn’t some crank conspiracy. Amazon admitted the couple was telling the truth.
The world’s second-most valuable company said in a statement: “We investigated what happened and determined this was an extremely rare occurrence. We are taking steps to avoid this from happening in the future.”
Amazon says that the Echo thought it heard a series of commands, including “Alexa” and “send message,” instructing it to send the audio files.
We always asked our friend who had Alexa why they would allow a listening device in your home to spy on you? Washington already collects all your emails and cell phone calls, in violation of the law. Knowing the tight connection of the major tech firms to the intelligence communities, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to lead to the correct conclusion.
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