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Is Alexa listening into our conversations?

by Peter Smyth Tech Journalist
13th May 19 10:30 am

A version of Amazon’s smart speaker may be investigated by us regulators after privacy campaigners made a complaint.

Campaigners are wanting the authorities to probe the Echo Dot Kids smart speaker, currently the children’s Alexa is not on sale in the UK.

Board member for the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Angela Campbell alleges, “They will save those voice recordings on the child’s voice for ever, unless the parents take action to eliminate those voice recordings and they don’t make it easy to do that.

“The transcripts of those Amazon voice recordings remain in the cloud forever.”

Amazon has said that parents can delete recordings and that their Echo Dot Kids smart speaker complies with all US laws.

Is Alexa listening into our conversations?

A version of Amazon’s smart speaker may be investigated by us regulators after privacy campaigners made a complaint.

Campaigners are wanting the authorities to probe the Echo Dot Kids smart speaker, currently the children’s Alexa is not on sale in the UK.

Board member for the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Angela Campbell alleges, “They will save those voice recordings on the child’s voice for ever, unless the parents take action to eliminate those voice recordings and they don’t make it easy to do that.

“The transcripts of those Amazon voice recordings remain in the cloud forever.”

Amazon has said that parents can delete recordings and that their Echo Dot Kids smart speaker complies with all US laws.

Last year a couple in Oregon claimed their Alexa was listening into their conversations, and said Alexa sent their contact list to a random person.

According to CBS affiliate stations KIRO7 who first reported the story, a puzzled recipient warned people to “unplug your Alexa devices right now.”

Allegedly the “Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like ‘Alexa’.

In December a user of Amazon’s Alexa in Germany got access to more than a thousand recordings from another user because of “a human error” by the company.

An Amazon spokesman told media, “This unfortunate case was the result of a human error and an isolated single case.”

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