Your Alexa or Echo can listen to you, record your conversations

1 week 22 hours 44 minutes ago Friday, April 12 2019 Apr 12, 2019 Friday, April 12, 2019 3:26:00 PM CDT April 12, 2019 in News
By: Shelby Lofton, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA — Smart speakers are listening and sending your personal conversations to the cloud.

Amazon has a global team of employees who listen, record and transcribe more than 1,000 audio recordings each day. The company said its employees listen to conversations so algorithms can be adjusted to everyday speech and regular requests.

“By default, Echo devices are designed to detect only your chosen wake word (Alexa, Amazon, Computer or Echo). The device detects the wake word by identifying acoustic patterns that match the wake word. No audio is stored or sent to the cloud unless the device detects the wake word (or Alexa is activated by pressing a button),” an Amazon spokesperson said.

Sandy Davidson, a professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, said the information sharing is a violation of privacy.

“What Alexa enables is intrusion into your seclusion and Amazon has not put people on sufficient notice of what Alexa is capable of doing,” Davidson said.

According to the law, there are two places with the highest expectation of privacy: your home and your office. Amazon allows users to disable information sharing features, but Davidson said that’s not good enough.

“People need to be put on notice prior to ever introducing this kind of intrusive technology into their living spaces,” she said.

Jackie O’Rourke has a Bluetooth speaker without a built in voice like Alexa or Siri. She said she won’t buy any speaker that does more than play music because of the risk to privacy.

“How do they have your permission to do that?” she said.

The information that smart speakers have gathered has been used in the courtroom. Prosecutors subpoenaed recordings from an Echo smart speaker for a murder trials, for instance. Davidson still views it an invasion of privacy.

“If police can use subpoenas to get this information, it certainly will make solving some crime easier. But the price is the problem,” Davidson said.

Amazon does provide directions for disabling smart devices from recording conversations. People like Davidson said consumers should presume all devices are able to listen to interactions and are expecting more lawsuits against tech companies like Amazon.

More News

Grid
List
MOBERLY- The Moberly Police Department arrested a man on Friday afternoon after they received information from the FBI in Omaha,... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, April 20 2019 Apr 20, 2019 Saturday, April 20, 2019 10:08:00 AM CDT April 20, 2019 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Fulton man will be in jail for the next 25 years after he pleaded guilty Friday... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, April 20 2019 Apr 20, 2019 Saturday, April 20, 2019 8:47:00 AM CDT April 20, 2019 in News
GASCONADE COUNTY - The sex of human remains found in the Gasconade River have been identified as male, according to... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 8:09:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Sophomore forward Jontay Porter officially declared for the 2019 NBA Draft via Twitter Friday. pic.twitter.com/AHj67OWmqi... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 6:35:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in Sports
ROCHEPORT - Missouri State Parks said a tunnel on the Katy Trail will be closed for at least another month,... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 6:32:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — High winds caused two power outages Friday evening that affected more than 1,500 customers, Columbia Water & Light... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 6:23:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — The Missouri Secretary of State’s office awarded a “Spotlight on Literacy” grant to Daniel Boone Regional Library for... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 5:46:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A well-known radio personality in St. Louis is facing sex-related charges. ... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 4:52:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
FULTON — A building on the Missouri School for the Deaf's campus may become the new location of a county... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 3:44:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Boone County Office of Emergency Management apologized Friday after accidentally sending out numerous severe weather alerts from... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 3:03:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Attorney Stephen Wyse wants Governor Mike Parson to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the relationship and alliance... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 2:39:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education approved a new compensation plan at Thursday's regular work session. The board voted... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 2:38:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - With April 20, or 4/20, falling on a weekend this year, the Missouri State Highway Patrol is preparing... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 1:56:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's House speaker said he doesn't plan on taking further action to discipline a House member... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 1:16:25 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
FARMINGTON (AP) — The wife of a Missouri Ku Klux Klan leader admitted Friday to fatally shooting her husband. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 12:48:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri and Chancellor Alexander Cartwright released the fiscal budget for 2020, including a reallocation of... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 12:43:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police took two drivers into custody Thursday night after separate chases. One involved a woman accused... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 12:37:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Police cited four businesses in the past two weeks for selling alcohol to an 18-year-old. The... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 10:45:00 AM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 68°
3pm 71°
4pm 72°
5pm 72°
6pm 70°