A private conversation of a couple in the U.S. was recorded by Alexa and then sent to a random person in their contact list.
Danielle (no last name given) of Portland, Oregon, revealed to the KRIO CBS 7 News that someone hacked into her Amazon Echo Dot. The family reported that they were alerted by a colleague in Seattle who received an audio file.
After an understandable freakout over the news that Amazon Echo recorded a family's conversation and sent that recording to a person on their contact list, the company has released an explanation. According to Amazon, Alexa had asked for a confirmation of the contact name to which the recording was sent, and it interpreted the background sound as a yes.
Recognising the improbability of this series of mishaps occuring, they added: "As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely".
"I felt invaded", she said.
After which the contact alerted the family about the incident, they unplugged all Alexa-powered devices in their home and contacted Amazon. The pair continued talking in the background and the Echo system interpreted part of the chat to identify a name in the couple's contact list.
Thankfully, the recorded conversation was only about hardware floors, but the incident has still managed to spark fears of Alexa spying on its users. The woman said the device never told them it was preparing to send the recording.
"The person on the other line said, 'unplug your Alexa devices right now, '" Danielle told the station. Just a couple of months ago, users began reporting odd sound emitting from their devices, describing them as "creepy laughs" coming from the smart speakers.
This ensures the listening possibilities are "practically endless with an Audible membership", with more about listening to Audible with Alexa available here. During the conversation between Danielle and her husband, Alexa mistakenly heard the request to "send message". Amazon has explained why the conversation was picked up by the voice-controlled Echo speaker and send it to the husband's employee 176 miles away. He told her the device "just guessed" what her and her husband were saying.
Danielle, however, told ABC that there were no audible warnings from Alexa.
Amazon has described the event as an "extremely rare occurrence".
The company has since asked Danielle if she and her husband wanted to disable the Alexa communication by putting it into a "de-provisioned" mode.
Amazon had then admitted the problem, and said it would roll out a fix for the same.
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