UPDATE: Amazon Employees Who are Listening to You Also Know Where You Live

The company maintains a firm stance on privacy and security.

Tech
27,442 Hypes 26 Comments

UPDATE: Since Bloomberg‘s original report that Amazon employees are listening to you through its voice assistant Alexa, the journal has dug deeper into the story. In a surprising revelation which has since been confirmed by MashableBloomberg discovered that those Amazon employees on the Alexa team can actually look up your location data as well. So far there’s no clear indication that Amazon employees have been tracking down individual users, but Bloomberg‘s sources from the Alexa team have expressed concern that the tech giant may be making it too easy to identify a device’s owner by giving unnecessarily broad access to users’ data, something Amazon has been adamant against in its statements. Commenting on the story, Bloomberg‘s staff attorney Lindsey Barrett said that “Anytime someone is collecting where you are, that means it could go to someone else who could find you when you don’t want to be found,” and that should be a “big red flag.”

ORIGINAL STORY (April 12, 2019): If you ever suspected that your voice-command enabled tech gadgets were listening in on your conversations, your suspicions would be correct. A recent report from Bloomberg revealed that Amazon has hired employees specifically to listen in on various clips recorded by its own Alexa voice assistant, through devices such as the Amazon Echo. The report confirms that Alexa will occasionally record conversations and speech that users may not be too fond of sharing, such as embarrassing, unsettling, or even criminal ones. The intention of the exercise is to improve Alexa’s responses by better finding what its users are asking for. In cases of criminal activity, Amazon has a policy for employees to report it to supervisors, though it seems the company leans towards non-interference.

Reassuring its customers, Amazon told Bloomberg that the clips do not contain any identifying data, and are securely protected: ”We take the security and privacy of our customers’ personal information seriously. We only annotate an extremely small sample of Alexa voice recordings in order [to] improve the customer experience. We have strict technical and operational safeguards, and have a zero tolerance policy for the abuse of our system.”

While users can access Alexa’s privacy setting to opt out of having their voice recordings used for development purposes by Amazon, the company says that the users’ recordings may nevertheless be analyzed over a regular review process. Amazon also reached out to us to clarify that “The device uses technology that inspects acoustic patterns in the surrounding environment to detect when the wake word has been spoken. No audio is stored or sent to the cloud unless the device detects the wake word”, so supposedly if you haven’t triggered your Alexa with the wake word, your conversations won’t be recorded.

And in other tech news, Uber has finally filed for its IPO.

Read Full Article
Source
Bloomberg

What to Read Next

DUCKWRTH Enlists Rico Nasty & Medasin for "Love Is Like a Moshpit"
Music

DUCKWRTH Enlists Rico Nasty & Medasin for "Love Is Like a Moshpit"

The lead single to the idiosyncratic artist’s forthcoming EP.

'Avengers: Endgame' Has No Post-Credit Scenes
Entertainment

'Avengers: Endgame' Has No Post-Credit Scenes

As confirmed by fans who have seen the film in theaters.

Cuco Heads to Mexico City for New "Hydrocodone" Video
Music

Cuco Heads to Mexico City for New "Hydrocodone" Video

“‘Hydrocodone’ is a music video dedicated to the memory of our past and future selves.”


UPDATE: Madonna Drops "Medellín" Music Video With Maluma
Music

UPDATE: Madonna Drops "Medellín" Music Video With Maluma

Her upcoming 13-track album also stars Quavo and Swae Lee.

Kevin Abstract Unveils a New Video for 'ARIZONA baby' Single "Peach"
Music

Kevin Abstract Unveils a New Video for 'ARIZONA baby' Single "Peach"

Featuring bearface, Joba & Dominic Fike.

Palace Teases Summer 2019 Collection
Fashion

Palace Teases Summer 2019 Collection

Shot by Juergen Teller once again.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Help us serve you better

We appreciate your support in allowing HYPEBEAST ads, where we can share contents from the latest fashion, to those culturally relevant. In adding HYPEBEAST to your ad blocker's whitelist, ads on our sites will show while you continue to browse.