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What the Zuck!
Evangelizing About the Erosion of Privacy


What the Zuck!
Evangelizing About the Erosion of Privacy

Alexa Echo


Alexa Echo

Alexa Echo is a device that's supposed to respond to your voice commands allowing you to turn your music on or order items from Amazon. But one needs to understand the technology involved here.

The inexpensive Alexa Echo device in itself is just a cheap little Linux computer. The actual heavy lifting of voice recognition, AI, and voice transcription occurs in the cloud on the Amazon servers. This means that by design, your voice has to be received by Amazon and then Amazon in turn sends the command results back to Alexa.

A quick read of the EULA of Alexa shows that your voice is recorded and stored. An independent researcher studying all the cloud based voice command services including Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant, Alexa Echo shows that all of the EULA's of these products say they keep your voice data for some amount of time to help each of the companies improve their AI.

As it turns out 'some amount of time' is forever (so far) for all companies except for SIRI which has been retained only for six months.

Amazon Alexa Echo has then turned into a wiretapping device. Officially you gave permission for Alex to wiretap you so it is not violating any laws by recording you. The worst part is that anyone who visits your home is also freely wiretapped because only one party in the conversation needs to agree to the wiretapping.

Alexa has already been witness to a murder. I'm sure Amazon was quite secretive in informing us of what was actually in the recordings in the house where the crime was committed. One of these days, it will be available in court proceedings and they will be forced to show you what is being recorded. I assume that it's everything.
Alexa Echo

Alexa Echo is a device that's supposed to respond to your voice commands allowing you to turn your music on or order items from Amazon. But one needs to understand the technology involved here.

The inexpensive Alexa Echo device in itself is just a cheap little Linux computer. The actual heavy lifting of voice recognition, AI, and voice transcription occurs in the cloud on the Amazon servers. This means that by design, your voice has to be received by Amazon and then Amazon in turn sends the command results back to Alexa.

A quick read of the EULA of Alexa shows that your voice is recorded and stored. An independent researcher studying all the cloud based voice command services including Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant, Alexa Echo shows that all of the EULA's of these products say they keep your voice data for some amount of time to help each of the companies improve their AI.

As it turns out 'some amount of time' is forever (so far) for all companies except for SIRI which has been retained only for six months.

Amazon Alexa Echo has then turned into a wiretapping device. Officially you gave permission for Alex to wiretap you so it is not violating any laws by recording you. The worst part is that anyone who visits your home is also freely wiretapped because only one party in the conversation needs to agree to the wiretapping.

Alexa has already been witness to a murder. I'm sure Amazon was quite secretive in informing us of what was actually in the recordings in the house where the crime was committed. One of these days, it will be available in court proceedings and they will be forced to show you what is being recorded. I assume that it's everything.
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