Amazon device recorded couple’s private conversation, sent it to random contact

U.S. & World

PORTLAND, OR (KRON) — A couple in Portland say their Amazon Alexa device recorded a private conversation then sent the recording to her husband’s employee in Seattle.

In a statement Thursday, Amazon confirmed the woman’s private conversation had been inadvertently recorded and sent.

“We unplugged the devices and he proceeded to tell us that he received audio files, recordings from what was going on in our house,” Danielle said. “I felt invaded, like total privacy invasion.”

The company said in a statement, “Amazon takes privacy very seriously. We investigated what happened and determined this was an extremely rare occurrence.”

Amazon says it was an “unlikely” string of events that prompted their Echo personal assistant device to record and send the recording to the husband’s employee, who was in the family’s contact list.

It says the device interpreted a word in the background conversation as “Alexa” – a command that makes the machine wake up – and then it interpreted the conversation as a “send message” request.

The company says it is “evaluating options to make this case even less likely.”

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