A woman received the shock of her life when her Amazon Echo invaded her privacy by recording her private conversation. She has since then unplugged the smart speaker.
Alexa Exposes Secrets
Danielle (no last name given) of Portland, Oregon, revealed to the KRIO CBS 7 News that her Amazon Echo Dot recorded a private conversation she had with her husband, without her knowledge. Two weeks ago, she received an urgent message from one of her husband's colleagues, who lived in Seattle, that her digital assistant was likely hacked as he received a recording of her private conversation with her husband.
The recipient spilled that in the recording, Danielle and her husband were talking about hardwood floors. She was livid with the discovery and took the colleague's advice by unplugging her Amazon Echo devices from her house. Danielle had several of the Amazon devices in her household. She used the products to control several functions, including her security system. She vowed not to plug in the Amazon product in the future because it violated her privacy.
Danielle spent time trying to reach an Amazon representative. Eventually, she found out that a company engineer investigated her situation. The engineer confirmed that Danielle's Alexa sent the private message to her husband's colleague. She added that the employee spent half of their 30-minute conversation apologizing.
However, Danielle was unable to get critical information. She stated that the company representative did not answer why Alexa recorded her conversation, or if it is a common issue. The engineer indicated that Alexa guessed what Danielle and her husband were saying. She noted Alexa did not let her know that it was recording their conversation. Danielle claimed that the company did not offer a refund for the Amazon Echo and wondered if anyone else experienced this problem.
"A husband and wife in the privacy of their home have conversations that they're not expecting to be sent to someone (in) their address book," said Danielle to KRIO-TV CBS 7 News.
According to Social Security Administration data, parents have lost interest in naming their baby daughters after the Amazon digital assistant. University of Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen used information from the government agency to find out that "Alexa" peaked in popularity in 2015, with 6,050 baby girls sharing that name. In 2017, Cohen found that there were only 3,883 baby girls named "Alexa," which was a 30 percent decrease.
Meanwhile, Amazon Echo users freaked out after someone found a glitch where Alexa randomly laughs for no reason. BuzzFeed News reported that the laughter came after users did not ask Alexa to laugh. Users also said that Alexa's annoying laugh sounded "creepy" and "evil." Others claimed that the laughter was from a real person.
Tech Times reached out to Amazon for a comment on this story.