Amazon Alexa user receives 1700 audio recordings of stranger

Amazon Alexa user receives 1700 audio recordings of stranger

An Amazon user in Germany was accidentally sent 1,700 audio recordings of someone he didn't know after he requested his own data file, exercising his rights under the EU's GDPR. Although he soon found that the download link he'd been sent was no longer working, he'd still saved the files on his computer. When Amazon sent the man what he asked for, he also received 1,700 recordings from another Amazon customer's Alexa commands.

From the files, coupled with Facebook and Twitter information, the magazine said it was able to identify and contact the Alexa user, whose name also was not disclosed. "We resolved the issue with the two customers involved and took measures to further optimize our processes. As a precautionary measure we contacted the relevant authorities", a spokesperson for Amazon was quoted as saying by the same media. The issue was first detailed by German publication c't.

These files even had audio recordings of the person in the shower, according to the report.

One of Amazon's newest projects is researching ways to make Alexa a more human-like communicator for customers, but sometimes the virtual assistant's language comes as creepy and offensive. The number of US adults who use the devices will grow 15% next year to 74.2 million, eMarketer forecasts, while more than one quarter (27%) of them will use a smart speaker at least once per month.

An Amazon spokesman called the incident an "unfortunate case", per Reuters. If the files are not deleted, under GDRP rules in Europe, users are able to request a all this data in a downloadable format.




When an Amazon customer in Germany contacted the company to review his archived data, he wasn't expecting to receive recordings of a stranger speaking in the privacy of a home.

Amazon's Alexa has been caught eavesdropping again.

Amazon Echo devices, which are powered by the Alexa voice assistant, provide a gateway to the e-commerce giant's shopping platform and can connect to more than 20,000 smart home devices, The Washington Post reported. The messages included various commands like control Spotify, alarms, whether updates, first names and others. The reason given is one of "human error".

Amazon has not made it clear exactly how human error caused this insane privacy violation, because of course they haven't.

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