Alexa : How would you feel when you come to know that someone is eavesdropping at your home, and also keeps the recordings? Sounds shocking right?
That’s exactly what Amazon has been doing to the millions of people out there with is an assistant “Alexa”. Alexa has an inbuilt microphone equipped with Echo Speakers which becomes a stranger having access to everything.
Many people owning Alexa do not realize it but, Amazon keeps a copy of everything Alexa records. It’s easy to ignore the consequences, thinking a single smart speaker or appliance couldn’t know enough to matter. But across the increasingly connected home, there’s a brazen data grab going on, and there are few regulations or common-sense practice to keep in check.
Facebook has also done a similar thing with our data. Any personal data that collected can used against us.
Amazon says it keeps our recordings to improve Alexa, not to sell them. But anytime personal data sticks around, it’s a risk. Once a couple that had it accidentally send a recording of their conversation to a random contact
Why is this happening?
To improve the A.I of a device it needs to collect some data and then process it. Same goes with Alexa, it is getting smarter, which is only possible by training her with voice recordings. To better understand requests and responses, personalize the customer experience and provide more accurate responses. These recordings help Alexa learn different accents and understand queries about recurring events.
Apple does the most admirable job operating home devices by collecting as little data as possible. Its software doesn’t report to Apple about any info about what’s going on in your smart home. Instead, the devices communicate directly via encryption, where the data stays.
Amazon has done a pretty good job with Alexa. But if Amazon stops recording and try some other way to improve its A.I then customers will be satisfied.
New @washingtonpost by me:
Alexa has been eavesdropping on us this whole time.
— Geoffrey A. Fowler (@geoffreyfowler) May 6, 2019