Amazon is investigating how an Echo recorded a conversation and sent that to another person, after one Portland couple claims the smart speaker eavesdropped on their discussion.
The incident, which Amazon has described as “an extremely rare occurrence,” is likely to reignite concerns around privacy, the Internet of Things, and increasingly connected devices.
The smart speaker owner says that she received a call from an employee of her husband in Seattle, telling them that he’d received audio files of recordings from inside the house.
“We unplugged all of them and he proceeded to tell us that he had received audio files of recordings from inside our house,” she told KIRO 7.
The person who received the files was one of the existing contacts Alexa can use to place voice calls via an Echo speaker.
Amazon also offers a Drop-In feature, which optionally allows certain approved contacts to make an automatic connection – either solely voice or, if to an Echo with a screen and camera, video too – and begin chatting immediately.