Portland woman says Amazon Alexa recorded personal conversation, sent it to contact

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo

The Portland woman said she had no idea her Amazon Echo listened to her and her husband, and then shared the conversation with one of his employees.

According to a report from Seattle CBS affiliate KIRO7, Danielle, who asked her last name be withheld, said they didn't believe it at first.

It's unclear exactly how the families' audio file was sent, but given that Amazon's Alexa is capable of sending voice messages, it's possible that someone in the home accidentally sent the message. However, Danielle says that her Echo never gave off any indication that it was recording/sending the message. "A total privacy invasion". Following the events, Danielle has been trying to receive a full refund for her Alexa devices but says Amazon representatives have been unwilling to do so.

When Danielle reached out to Amazon, the person she was in contact with was extremely apologetic but didn't provide a real reason as to why or how it happened.

She called Amazon, which investigated the claim, and found it was true.

The internet retailer said it offered to "de-provision" the communication features of the woman's Echo speaker so that she could continue using its "smart home" features without concern that her voice would be captured and transmitted.

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"Amazon takes privacy very seriously", Amazon said in a statement to KIRO 7. An Alexa engineer she spoke to confirmed that the software did record and send a conversation their family had to the employee.

Alexa starts recording after hearing its name or another "wake word" chosen by users, meaning that even having a TV switched on can result in the device being activated. "We are taking steps to avoid this from happening in the future", the company said in a statement.

The question for much of Thursday was why a couple's Echo recorded one of their conversations and sent it to someone in their address book without their knowledge.

"They have absolutely no right to listen in and record my conversations".

The woman and her family used Amazon devices to control their home's heat, lights, and security system, but she's now pulled the plug on Alexa, so to speak.

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