A team at Amazon that includes both full-time employees and contractors listens for audio snippets that were recorded by devices that had the company's Alexa assistant installed, according to a Bloomberg report.
Seven people who have worked with Amazon's review program, told Bloomberg that sometimes they hear up to 1,000 shots per shift and that the shots are linked to the customer's first name, the device's serial number, and an account number. Among other clips, these employees and contractors said they had examined footage of a woman singing in the shower, a screaming child, and a sexual assault. Sometimes, when recordings were hard to understand ̵
In an email to BuzzFeed News, an Amazon spokesperson wrote that "an extremely small sample" Alexa's voice recordings are commenting and auditing the audio "helps us understand our speech recognition systems and natural language understanding systems training so Alexa can better understand your needs and make sure the service works well for everyone. "
In addition, the speaker," All information is treated with high confidentiality, and we use multi-factor authentication to restrict access, service encryption, and verification of our control environment to protect it. "
On a FAQ page, Amazon states that Alexa does not record all of your conversations. Amazon's intelligent echo speakers and the many other Alexa-enabled devices are designed to capture and process audio, but only when a "wake-up word" such as "Alexa", "Amazon", "Computer" or "Echo" – present is voiced Alexa devices occasionally inadvertently capture audio and send it to Amazon servers or respond to it with triggered actions. In May 2018, an echo unintentionally sent audio recordings of a woman's private conversation to an employee of her husband.
In any case, this is a good reminder that it's not a bad idea to keep something private to separate your smart speaker.