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Thread: Did Alexa send out their private conversations?

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    Veteran Member Southern Dad's Avatar
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    Did Alexa send out their private conversations?

    According to the story Amazon has confirmed from the logs that the conversation was recorded and sent to the contact. Considering the number of Amazon Echo devices in my home, this is something that I can see happening. If I were to inadvertently trigger Alexa with a misinterpreted message it might think that I wanted her to contact someone. This could result in a situation like this. The Amazon Echo Tap required the user to actually touch the device before it began listening. A firmware update changed this to a user option. Is it time to put that option in every Echo device or should the awake word be something less common? Amazon gives you four choices now; Alexa, Amazon, Echo, and Computer.

    Woman says her Amazon device recorded private conversation, sent it out to random contact

    A Portland family contacted Amazon to investigate after they say a private conversation in their home was recorded by Amazon's Alexa -- the voice-controlled smart speaker -- and that the recorded audio was sent to the phone of a random person in Seattle, who was in the familyís contact list.

    "My husband and I would joke and say I'd bet these devices are listening to what we're saying," said Danielle, who did not want us to use her last name.

    Every room in her family home was wired with the Amazon devices to control her home's heat, lights and security system.

    But Danielle said two weeks ago their love for Alexa changed with an alarming phone call. "The person on the other line said, 'unplug your Alexa devices right now,'" she said. "'You're being hacked.'"

    That person was one of her husband's employees, calling from Seattle.

    "We unplugged all of them and he proceeded to tell us that he had received audio files of recordings from inside our house," she 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.'"

    Read more at KIRO 7's website

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    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Dad View Post
    Is it time to put that option in every Echo device or should the awake word be something less common?
    I would imagine both should be optional. I think they will straighten it out eventually, though I am not sure how.

    I think it cool that you can activate it by saying "Computer!" though ... just like Star Trek. If I recall the original, though, you had to activate the computer manually before you could talk to it - unlike TNG, where you could just shout it out to activate a conversation.
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    Google on my friend's phone starting listening to us and no one had said 'ok google' or even 'google'. So I asked why are you listening when no one asked you to and she gave me nonsense. Of course the stupid thing is listening all the time. I glare at my smart phone often.

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    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    I would imagine both should be optional. I think they will straighten it out eventually, though I am not sure how.

    I think it cool that you can activate it by saying "Computer!" though ... just like Star Trek. If I recall the original, though, you had to activate the computer manually before you could talk to it - unlike TNG, where you could just shout it out to activate a conversation.
    I appreciate the voice activation feature of Siri - whom Iíve turned into an Australian male voice for fun. Especially when I tell him to read my new messages and they include emojis.
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    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    I appreciate the voice activation feature of Siri - whom I’ve turned into an Australian male voice for fun. Especially when I tell him to read my new messages and they include emojis.
    Lol.

    I appreciate the technology. I have no need for it at the moment, though, so I guess I am old-fashioned in that respect. Obviously, though, it is an exciting area of technology.
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    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    Lol.

    I appreciate the technology. I have no need for it at the moment, though, so I guess I am old-fashioned in that respect. Obviously, though, it is an exciting area of technology.
    My commute is 45 minutes each way - it comes in quite handy for getting directions and checking email and texts without taking my eyes off the road.

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    Veteran Member Southern Dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    I would imagine both should be optional. I think they will straighten it out eventually, though I am not sure how.

    I think it cool that you can activate it by saying "Computer!" though ... just like Star Trek. If I recall the original, though, you had to activate the computer manually before you could talk to it - unlike TNG, where you could just shout it out to activate a conversation.
    Originally the computer was activated by touching the communication badge. TNG and DS9, it was just a word spoken aloud. I had my office Echo set to computer but found that was not a good idea. Far too many times the news said it aloud or someone would walk into my office and say the word. I went back to Alexa.

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    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    My commute is 45 minutes each way - it comes in quite handy for getting directions and checking email and texts without taking my eyes off the road.
    I usually do not need directions from GPS. I just look at the map in advance and plan my route that way. And I can wait to see emails and texts until later - not like I can really act on them while driving, anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Dad View Post
    Originally the computer was activated by touching the communication badge. TNG and DS9, it was just a word spoken aloud.
    I do not remember activating the computer by touching the communication badge ... must have been early TNG, as they did not even have those badges in TOS.
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    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    I usually do not need directions from GPS. I just look at the map in advance and plan my route that way. And I can wait to see emails and texts until later - not like I can really act on them while driving, anyway.
    I don't if I'm heading someplace familiar. But, for instance, I started off my morning today at O'Dark Thirty going to a client's business in a heavily industrial (and not-so-great) area of town. I was generally familiar with where I was headed, but it was of added benefit to me to be able to give Siri the address and make certain I was heading to the right place.

    E-mails generally can wait til later but my curiosity sometimes gets the better of me. I have a 16-year-old. Texts can't wait.

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    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    I don't if I'm heading someplace familiar. But, for instance, I started off my morning today at O'Dark Thirty going to a client's business in a heavily industrial (and not-so-great) area of town. I was generally familiar with where I was headed, but it was of added benefit to me to be able to give Siri the address and make certain I was heading to the right place.
    I am pretty good with maps and superimposing them (in my head) over reality - kind of visualizing the big picture from my on-the-ground vantage point. Besides, I hate the phone talking to me while I'm trying to listen to music - seriously harshes out the chill.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    E-mails generally can wait til later but my curiosity sometimes gets the better of me. I have a 16-year-old. Texts can't wait.
    Opportunity to teach the kid patience.

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