Reuters reports that a German Alexa user got access to "thousands of recordings" from their neighbor. Amazon sent him a download link to tracked searches on the website - and 1,700 audio recordings by Alexa that were generated by another person. "We resolved the issue with the two customers involved and took measures to further optimize our processes. We were also, as a precaution, in contact with the competent authorities".
The first customer received no reply when he notified Amazon about the error.
It appears that the fears of privacy and data protection advocates in regards to voice powered devices have come true; at least in a single case where Amazon leaked a customer's voice data to another customer.
"The alarms, Spotify commands, and public transport inquiries included in the data revealed a lot about the victims' personal habits, their jobs, and their taste in music", revealed Germany's c't magazine. which has reviewed the trove.
This week, Amazon is having to apologize for allowing some 1,700 audio recordings made by one Alexa user to be shared with another Alexa user.
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What happened: The man asked for a copy of all the data Amazon holds on him.
The mistake also drew attention to the uncanny readiness with which American consumers have accepted microphone-linked voice assistants into their homes and how the devices actually work. 'Using these files, it was fairly easy to identify the person involved and his female companion; weather queries, first names, and even someone's last name enabled us to quickly zero in on his circle of friends, ' according to the report. In May, a Portland, Oregon family found out that their Echo had mistakenly recorded some of their conversations and sent the recordings to an acquaintance.
The technology giant called it an "isolated incident". Perhaps you had one Echo in your living room and an Amazon Fire Stick connected to your TV.
The German magazine c't analyzed the recordings and personally identified the other customer, who was not informed of the data breach.
Amazon claimed that it had sold tens of millions of Echo devices, with its popular Alexa virtual assistant, in 2018 alone.