Amazon has finally revealed it, and it’s quite concerning for millions of Alexa users worldwide. Amazon’s virtual assistant Amazon Alexa, widely known as Alexa, records everything, and that too indefinitely.
The company has recently confirmed that Alexa has been recording and storing everything that the users speak to. The owners of Alexa, most of the times, fail to realize that Alexa records every instruction the moment it’s activated with a voice command. Furthermore, a copy of all these recordings is stored and saved with Amazon.
Amazon Alexa has been developed to help people with the basic day to day tasks such as turning on the lights, playing music, getting information about the weather and the latest news, and many others. The technology is quite useful for turning your house into a smart home or enhance your productivity with the help of a virtual assistant. Amazon Alexa was used for the first time in Amazon Echo and in the smart speakers of Amazon Echo Dot. These have been developed by the Amazon Lab126.
This virtual assistant designed by Amazon is a wonderful help in several tasks, but the company seems to intentionally stay ignorant about the privacy of its customers. A letter to the US senator that was sent by Amazon made the big reveal about the recording and storing of the conversations and other data of the customer. This was a follow up of the incident when Bloomberg found out that the employees working in Amazon had been listening to the recordings to help in the training of their artificial intelligence.
Amazon acknowledged this and also revealed that all the recordings are saved to their database until the owner intentionally and manually deletes them. Regarding this Senator Coons said that even if the user has deleted the recording, it cannot be said that this information is completely lost to Amazon. The Privacy advocates have taken the issue seriously and have filed a complaint alleging the device of violating the Federal Wiretap Act. The complaint has been filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
This is a long-standing debate and Amazon has previously also been questioned about the controversies with regard to Alexa and its privacy concerns. One can only delete the recordings but can not stop Amazon Alexa from recording it unless the microphones of Echo have been muted or the thing has been unplugged which would defeat the main purpose of it. There have been incidents with regard to this issue circulating around the web and people are becoming aware of the downside of such smart devices. However, the market has yet not seen a decrease in the sale of the product and Alexa continues to be a favourite of many.
All said and done, it leads us to question – Will you sill buy Alexa Echo Dot to have a spy in your home?