Only a programmed "wakeup word" – "Alexa", "Amazon", "Computer" or "Echo" – is supposed to activate Alexa's voice-activated devices from Amazon. But sometimes, when someone utters words with similar sounds, the speaker can be inadvertently activated and record conversations. Previously, users could listen to everything Alexa captured, including accidental recordings, via their Amazon account. However, recently, the Alexa application has stopped giving them access to these snippets.
Owners told BuzzFeed News that in the "History of Voice Interactions" section of the Alexa application, the records were "Text not available. Click to play the recording."After clicking, the play button was dimmed and they could not select it." The application displayed "The sound was not meant for your echo: nothing was sent back."Below the play button." After testing this on our own, BuzzFeed News found at least a dozen instances where accidental triggers could not be played.
After BuzzFeed News reported the problem to Amazon, a spokesman said: "This is a bug and we are working on a fix that should begin to be released early next week" . The spokesman added that users can still visit amazon.com/alexaprivacy to view, listen to and delete previous voice recordings, even accidental ones. While reading is currently experiencing problems in the Alexa application, the website can read all the records stored by Amazon on its servers.
Frank Garritano, an Echo device owner residing in northern California, was bewildered by the large number of excerpts reported as "not meant for your echo" in his Alexa application.
"Basically, I'm told that we listened to this recording, it was not an Alexa request, so we decided you could not listen to it either. You do not care of me? I am the person who is registered., "Garritano told BuzzFeed News.
Ian Mercer, who also owns an Echo device, said his Alexa app had at least two of these recordings on every page of his voice history. "Why is he even journaling him he claims he does not register?" Said Mercer.
Over the past 15 years, Mercer has been working on what he calls "the smartest home in the world," which incorporates voice-activated technology that is not powered by Alexa or other assisted voice assistants. by a technology company, such as Siri or Google Assistant. "I would prefer a device where audio recognition is done on the device rather than the cloud," he said, citing privacy and faster response times.
Earlier this week, a Bloomberg report had revealed that an Amazon team was listening to audio snippets of users registered by devices, including audio data accidentally captured. The members of this team told Bloomberg that they had looked at recordings of what appeared to be a woman singing in the shower, a screaming child, and a sexual assault.
In an e-mailed statement to BuzzFeed News, an Amazon spokesperson wrote that "a very small sample of Alexa voice recordings" is annotated, and that the audio "helps us train our speech recognition and natural language comprehension systems".
This is a good reminder that any voice-activated system can listen when you do not want it. You can still press the microphone button to mute the microphone of your Amazon Echo or of course unplug it.