I love my echo (voice controlled devices)...I have three of them in various parts of my home.  Sometimes i will be talking to someone on the phone and I will trigger something that causes "Alexa" to respond.  That caused me to wonder whether Alexa could be used to spy on you or me?

Voice-activated devices like the Amazon Echo, Google Home and others are now in use  in millions of homes, turning lights and appliances on and off, streaming music (including to 961 The Breeze) making phone calls and scheduling appointments. The question is could they be misused in the "age of surveillance".

Amazon’s voice-controlled Alexa products are considered "always-on" devices — but that doesn’t mean they record customers’ conversations.

The devices constantly listen for a user to say a "wake word," which triggers Alexa to begin recording voice data and respond to commands. Wake words include "Alexa," "O.K. Google," and "Hey Siri."

There was one event that was widely publicized where Alexa mistook a wake word capturing a family's private conversation and transmitting it to someone on the family's contact list.

While there is no proof that Alexa records all conversations in your home...

It is possible that more data is being recorded than consumers know or that Amazon is willing to publicly admit," she said. "Amazon is not very transparent on privacy practices related to Alexa/Echo products.

Maybe the walls "do have ears".  If you would like to know more check out Politifact's  entire article here.


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