A Portland couple contacted Amazon’s customer care that their Echo Speaker secretly recorded a conversation. After recording Alexa sent it to one of their colleagues from the contact list. Luckily, they were just talking about flooring at that moment but the issue is bigger than that. Alexa forwarded the conversation to a colleague who was on the contact list in the person’s mobile. He called up and said that he just received a conversation recording between him and his wife.
A local TV station KIRO7 interviews with Danielle (the last name not revealed). She said that a private conversation between her and her husband was recorded by Alexa. Later, the conversation was sent to one of their contacts. She did not believe it when the person called and informed them. The couple were taken aback when they heard the recordings. She said that “She feels invaded. I am never gonna plug that device again because I don’t trust it anymore”.
How It Happened
When we asked Amazon regarding the issue, a spokesperson confirmed that the incident actually took place in which Alexa mistaking the conversation as a command to it. He said that “Alexa was not spying on its users. The Alexa woke up due to the background conversation which sounded like “Alexa”. The assistant recorded the following conversations. After recording, Alexa said, “To Whom?”. The couple called out a name. Alexa asked for a confirmation by saying, “[name], right?” to which the background conversation sounded like “right”. The unusual turn of events in the conversation was responsible for Alexa sending out the recorded message to one of the colleagues”.
Review Of The Incident
Amazon responded to the situations saying it was a case of coincidences. Many users have reported such cases. Personally, I had Alexa play a random song for me because it thought that I asked for it. Amazon needs to discuss this issue but it is rare to see such a case where successive commands were made to record and send the recording to a contact. Back in March, Alexa was held in a laughing controversy when it mistook common words as “Alexa, laugh” command. It started laughing without being awake and the users had to unplug the Alexa from their devices.
Amazon has claimed that it was just a malfunction in the device. However, a report shows that Amazon has filed a patent for an algorithm which always listens or wakes up the assistant. When words like “love” or “bought” it wakes up the assistant which helps in targeted advertisements. Earlier this year, Amazon decided to take part in the Government Surveillance programs. But it seems a little danger to the decision. The company has managed to get 40 million devices into the local homes in a quick span of time. The latest incident will only put pressure on Amazon to improve its voice recognition feature.