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Echo users may not feel safe after reading the information that Amazon employees can access



Earlier this month, we told you that Amazon has employee groups in Boston, Indonesia, and Romania that hear shots of consumers interacting with Alexa. Team members transcribe these recordings, add comments and load the information into a software program. The goal is to help the virtual personal assistant to hear and understand human commands better. Today, Bloomberg reports that these employees can also access the users' home addresses.

Some team members can find the geographic coordinates of an Alexa user. With this information, the data can be entered into a third-party mapping application to determine that user's home address. Amazon previously said that these employees and consultants could not get any information that would allow them to know the name and address of any Alexa user whose records they reviewed. Service teams, only a limited number, have access to the tools , which can be used to determine the addresses of Alexa users. Amazon says that those who have the ability to obtain the information they need to process a small number of Alexa interactions. This is done to improve the performance of Amazon's virtual helper.

Despite Amazon's statement to the contrary, two Amazon anonymous employees told Bloomberg that the" vast majority "of Alexa Data Service team members had access to the tools needed to obtain customer addresses , The first time an echo user gives Alexa a task, Amazon uses the device's Internet address to determine the approximate location. Now the company uses the delivery address of a customer as the default location for an echo device.

Bloomberg watched as an Alexa Data Services team member listened to the recording of an echo user's commands to Alexa. He added the longitude and latitude of the user in Google Maps. Suddenly, the employee's computer screen showed a picture of the Echo user's residence along with his address.

Some ask if Amazon really needs this data. Lindsey Barrett, a lawyer and lecturer at the Georgetown Law Communications and Technology Clinic, says the ability of some Amazon employees to access location data is a red flag. She noted that "every time someone gathers where you are, that means he could go to someone else who you might find if you do not want to be found."


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