If you have an Alexa device in your home, chances are some Amazon employee is listening in on the things you are doing and saying… and the company has admitted that this is true.
In fact, Amazon admitted it has a division of the company where all employees do is listen in on the private lives of Alexa users.
They claim they do this to “improve” the Alexa service.
Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon literally has teams of employees all over the world who sit and listen to up to 1,000 clips a day of what is heard over the devices.
A company spokesman told the new service, “We only annotate an extremely small sample of Alexa voice recordings in order [to] improve the customer experience. For example, this information helps us train our speech recognition and natural language understanding system, so Alexa can better understand your requests, and ensure the service works well for everyone.”
Amazon employees, though, have privately told members of the media that they hear far more than just Alexa questions.
According to the Daily Mail, Amazon employees have also said they hear people in the shower, people talking about their personal financial situations, and “intimate” conversations and actions… I think we know what that means!
They have also heard things that they feel might be alarming such as criminal activity and maybe even child abuse.
But, do you want some Amazon employee deciding that you are abusing your child and calling the cops on you? That is one scary situation to contemplate.
And how long will it be before dictatorial governments begin passing laws that allow authorities to listen in on your life over your Internet-based “assistants” like Alexa and its many competitors?
As security consultant Robert Graham recently told Gizmodo, “It’s likely that laws will be passed that will allow the police to remotely activate these devices and eavesdrop on suspects, pretty much as described in the book ‘1984.’”
Then… how long until governments mandate that we MUST have an Alexa or other such listening device implanted into our homes… “for the children”?
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.