“Amazon claims this is all just a manner of miscommunication, with the devices picking up on false positive commands.”
Assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are capable of a plethora of applications and are designed to learn more about you, and with any successful relationship the key is to listen. Your tone of voice, prompts, and requests are all recorded by a constantly listening device in order to serve you best; however, in light of recent events such as Echo speakers laughing spontaneously or a report from a family in Portland who sad their device recorded and sent conversations to a colleague without their permission or knowledge.
Amazon claims this is all just a matter of miscommunication, with the devices picking up on false positive commands. A ‘wake word’ brings your device to attention, but if your wake word is more commonly spoken in your home, there is a chance you’re being listened in on or recorded.
For those interested in knowing if Alexa is recording their conversations, The Verge recently published a step-by-step guide on how to check on your device to see what’s Alexa’s been listening to, how to change your commands, what’s been recorded, and how to delete recordings.
It’s estimated by 2021 there will be over 1.3 billion voice assistants listening in, prompting many to get a more practical sense of what the settings are when it comes to their digital assistants.
May 31, 2018 – Susan Stover