House Calls

Amazon “said a series of miscues picked up by one of its voice-activated Echo speakers during an Oregon couple’s private conversation resulted in the chat being recorded and sent to one of their acquaintances without their knowledge.” Those miscues include: 1. Buying a listening device. 2. Putting it in your house. At least that’s what some folks are likely thinking as they read the explanation of How Alexa Can Record Private Conversations. (Who would have guessed that a product named Echo would repeat something you said…)

+ A brief reenactment from Recode: “Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like Alexa. Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a send message” request. At which point, Alexa said out loud To whom? At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customers contact list.”

+ Of course, this series of unintended consequences required a chain reaction so rare that its occurrence was worthy of a viral news story. But the fact remains that millions of us are willingly filling our homes with with digital snitches. The Marshall Project: When your appliances work as police informants.

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