Amazon responds after Portland woman claims Alexa records private conversation

Amazon confirmed the odd incidence took place but said Alexa mistook the conversation as commands and dismissed it as an instance of Alexa spying on users

A couple from OR were shocked to find out that their Alexa-powered speaker recorded a private conversation in their home and sent to a person in their contact list.

A United States couple have claimed that their Alexa (a virtual assistant, for those not in the know) passed on their conversation without any instruction from them. "I'm never plugging that device in again", she said. An Alexa engineer responded.

Amazon said in an emailed statement to The Washington Post on Thursday afternoon that the Echo woke up when it heard a word that sounded like "Alexa".

"The person on the other line said 'unplug your Alexa devices right now".

The recipient spilled that in the recording, Danielle and her husband were talking about hardwood floors.

Amazon has offered to "de-provision" her devices from the internet, meaning they would still be able to use the Smart Home features, but it wouldn't be able to send messages outside the home. You might have heard about a story involving Alexa on an Amazon Echo sending a private conversation to a random person on a contact list today, spooking more than a few people. Amazon has explained why the conversation was picked up by the voice-controlled Echo speaker and send it to the husband's employee 176 miles away. That might not be practical for smartphones these days, but do you really need a smart speaker or a television set that's connected to the internet? "It's the feeling you have to watch what you say in front of a device that's supposed to make your life better".

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The Portland couple reported the invasion of privacy to Amazon, who called the incident "an extremely rare occurrence".

Amazon said at that point Alexa asked, "To whom?"

The engineer didn't say why the glitch happened or why Alexa, the company's virtual assistant, didn't inform Danielle it was preparing to send the files, something it's programmed to do, she said. Mashable has contacted Amazon for further comment.

"Unplug your Alexa devices right now. As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely".

It's a spiel Danielle, an Alexa user from Portland, Oregon, had believed. Danielle called Amazon, which reportedly investigated the incident, confirmed what happened, and apologized profusely.

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