News & Politics

Amazon Alexa Device Recorded a Family's Private Conversation and Sent It to Someone on Their Contact List

The incident raises deep concerns about privacy and smart home recording devices.

Photo Credit: Fox 13 Memphis

A family in Portland, Oregon reports that an Amazon Alexa device recorded a private conversation and randomly sent it to a contact in Seattle.

Danielle, who declined to provide her last name, told KIRO-TV that the contact called her family to tell them that their privacy was being compromised.

"'Unplug your Alexa devices right now,'" the unnamed individual reportedly said. "'You're being hacked.'"

"We unplugged all of them and he proceeded to tell us that he had received audio files of recordings from inside our house," Danielle said. "At first, my husband was, like, 'No, you didn't!' And the (recipient of the message) said, 'You sat there talking about hardwood floors.' And we said, 'Oh gosh, you really did hear us.'"

She has since contacted Amazon to launch an investigation.

“Amazon takes privacy very seriously," the company wrote in a press statement. "We investigated what happened and determined this was an extremely rare occurrence. We are taking steps to avoid this from happening in the future."

Danielle says Amazon has refused to provide a refund and still hasn't explained how the incident actually occurred.

 

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