| 2 minutes read

2 minutes read

Amazon’s Alexa Recorded Private Convo Between Husband Wife & Sent It To Random Contact

| Published on May 26, 2018

A Portland-based family has revealed that Amazon’s echo assistant Alexa recorded their private conversation and then sent it to someone on its list of contacts without telling them. Amazon has accepted this and has called this incident as “extremely rare occurrence.”


Alexa normally starts recording after it hears its name or some other “wake word” which is selected by the users. Any similar voice in user’s surrounding can activate the recording option easily which seems to have happened in this case too.

Danielle, an Alexa user found out about this when she received a call from one of her husband’s colleagues saying: “Unplug your Alexa devices right now, you’re being hacked.” She didn’t believe this but after listening to the same words she was surprised and became angry over this. She has even has decided to never use such devices because of privacy issues.
An Amazon representative confirmed that about the whole thing and apologised but he didn’t reveal any information regarding the cause of this. He said:

“Amazon takes privacy very seriously. We investigated what happened and determined this was an extremely rare occurrence. We are taking steps to avoid this from happening in the future.”


After some time an Amazon spokesperson provided an updated statement and said:

“Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like ‘Alexa’. Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a ‘send message’ request. At which point, Alexa said out loud ‘To whom?’ At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customer’s contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, ‘[contact name], right?’ Alexa then interpreted background conversation as ‘right’.”

The incident has once again raised the privacy issues for users who blindly have faith in technology. Voice-assistant devices are helpful in many ways but are they more important than our privacy? Users should know about their rights in such cases and tech companies need to be more careful as such small mistakes can destroy the image of any popular brand in the eyes of customers.

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