IT&Software

"Unplug your Alexa devices right now. You're being hacked".

Amazon is "evaluating options" in response to reports that a woman's "Alexa" smart speaker shared a private conversation with one of her contacts.

"My husband and I would joke and say, 'I'd bet these devices are listening to what we're saying, ' " said a woman to KIRO 7 who identified herself only by her first name, Danielle.

News broke out earlier this week that Amazon's Alexa assistant recorded a private conversation between two people and then sent that recording to a third party.

Amazon said this was what happened to Danielle, adding: "The subsequent conversation was heard as a "send message" request".

"I felt invaded", she told KIRO-TV.

The affected couple has four Amazon Alexa devices in their home which they use for controlling electrical devices and appliances.

"At which point, Alexa said out loud 'To whom?' At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customer's contact list".

What is said on Alexa should stay on Alexa.

Thankfully, the recorded conversation was only about hardware floors, but the incident has still managed to spark fears of Alexa spying on its users.

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"I'm never plugging that device in again - I can't trust it."

"Unplug your Alexa devices right now!" warned the puzzled recipient, according to ABC affiliate station KIRO7, which first reported the story.

When reached Friday, an Amazon spokeswoman would not comment about whether the company will issue a refund.

This ensures the listening possibilities are "practically endless with an Audible membership", with more about listening to Audible with Alexa available here.

The acquaintance played back the recorded conversations, which were just as he'd described, and Danielle came to the realisation that their conversation had been recorded and sent to someone 176 miles away without her knowledge. Danielle said they turned off their multiple Echo smart speakers, contacted Amazon and spoke to an Alexa engineer, who apologized multiple times.

"A husband and wife in the privacy of their home have conversations that they're not expecting to be sent to someone [in] their address book", she said. He also didn't explain why it could have happened. Amazon blamed the "extremely rare" incident on an unlikely sequence of events.

Command "Alexa, send a message to (enter contact name)" and Amazon's smart assistant will follow your instructions.

Amazon had then admitted the problem, and said it would roll out a fix for the same. Then too it misunderstood some words or phrases as "Alexa, laugh" command.


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