In today’s edition of Computers are Creepy: is your smart home device spying on you?
Sounds ripped from a Bradbury novel, right? Well, it appears some “glitches” have affected Amazon’s Echo, and one report details a couple’s private conversation being recorded and sent to contacts in their phones. The conversation was sent without their consent or any notification, mind you.
In this current age of hyper-paranoia (for good reason) with our online activity and security, Alexa capturing conversations and forwarding them along is pretty terrifying. As an Alexa owner who is still trying to find a use for it in my non-smart apartment, it has me debating whether I should pull the plug for good.
I’ve personally experienced my Amazon Echo respond mistakenly to the television and begin spouting off random facts or news stories, which is discomforting, to say the least.
Amazon has placed the blame at the feet of Alexa being activated by words that sound similar to “Alexa” (which doesn’t really ease the paranoia) and has said they will look into the problem. Until then, consider me unplugged.