A woman from Portland, Oregon has said she felt “invaded” after receiving a disturbing phone call from one of her husband’s employee’s. “Unplug your Alexa devices right now,” he said. “You’re being hacked.”
In an “unlikely string of events” the couple’s Amazon Echo recorded a private conversation and sent the audio to the man without their knowledge.
“I felt invaded,” the woman said. “A total privacy invasion. Immediately I said, ‘I’m never plugging that device in again, because I can’t trust it.”
Amazon confirmed the private conversation had been inadvertently recorded and sent to a contact. According to a statement released by the company:
“Echo woke up due to a word in the background conversation sounding like ‘Alexa.’ Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a ‘send message’ request.”
“At which point, Alexa said out loud ‘To whom?’ At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customers contact list.”
“Alexa then asked out loud, ‘[contact name], right?’ Alexa then interpreted background conversation as ‘right.’”
The company went on to say, “As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely.”