A MailOnline investigation into how much personal information Alexa is recording and storing on its users has revealed the smart assistant eavesdrops on housemates' gossip, private conversations about insurance policies - and even the family dog. Amazon insists Alexa can only be activated when the allocated'wake word' is uttered - being Alexa, Computer or Echo. The tech giant - along with Apple's Siri and, until recently, Google's Assistant - says it saves every single interaction a person has with the device to improve the service - with some'unintentional' snippets also being recorded if it mistakes another noise for a'wake word'. However, evidence seen by MailOnline shows this cannot be the case, or the process is fundamentally flawed, as a host of sounds and conversations were recorded without a clear or legitimate wake word being uttered - some when there was not even a human nearby. A MailOnline investigation into these'secret' archives has revealed an eerie snippets of users' friends, families and children being recorded while they were completely unaware - and without a clear or legitimate wake word being uttered.
Amazon has confirmed that its Alexa voice assistant sometimes stores your data indefinitely, even after any corresponding audio clips have been deleted. The admission comes after inquiries from US Senator Chris Coons, who asked the tech firm to explain what happens to voice records and data gathered by Alexa. The senator, a democrat, wrote to Amazon following a CNET investigation in May that revealed that the company retains voice records unless users delete them. The probe had also suggested that, regardless, written transcripts of those voice recordings may also be kept indefinitely. Amazon's device - along with Apple's Siri and, until recently, Google's Assistant - saves every single interaction a person has with the device, with some unintentional snippets also being recorded.
Alexa's poor reputation for privacy may soon worsen as a patent filed by the firm suggests the virtual assistant may start listening before its'wake word' is said. Under the plans Alexa will be able to detect when it is being given a command even if the wake word is said at the end of the sentence instead of at the front. The move raises concerns over user privacy as Alexa will, by default, always be listening to conversations on the off-chance its wakeword is spoken. Alexa's poor reputation for privacy may soon worsen as a patent filed by the firm suggests the virtual assistant may start listening before its'wake word' is said. The patent, filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, reveals the Seattle-fimrs plans for the next evolutionary step for it Alexa's technology.
Amazon has rolled out a new security feature to give users greater control over their voice recordings. The internet giant will now let users ask Alexa-equipped devices to delete their voice recordings from that day. It comes as Amazon has faced growing privacy concerns tied to its Alexa digital assistant, including who is able to access users' voice recordings and how it stores them. Amazon has rolled out a new security feature to give users greater control over their voice recordings. 'Simply say, "Alexa, delete everything I said today" and the respective recordings will be deleted,' Amazon said.
Amazon staff review thousands of audio recordings made by Alexa each day -- including snippets of couples arguing and having sex -- an investigation claims. The clips were accidentally captured by the popular digital assistant -- confusing the noises for the commands it should be listening to -- and sent off for analysis. Staff at the tech firm review one in every five-hundred recordings made by Alexa, whether of deliberate commands to the assistant or accidental recordings. According to a privacy expert, the revelation is a reminder of the extent of the personal information that the tech firm has on its users. Amazon has an English-speaking team monitoring thousands of Alexa recordings daily based in Bucharest, Romania, the Sun claims, along with similar setups in Boston, Costa Rica and India.