Experts warn people not to keep Amazon Echo Alexa in their bedrooms

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By VT

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If you own an Amazon Echo Alexa device, you need to listen to this crucial warning from experts: refrain from setting it up in your bedroom or any other private areas of your home.

Featuring a voice-activated interface, these devices make life simpler, offering weather updates, alarms, music, and more. However, tech gurus suggest that your living room, dining room, or kitchen are better-suited environments for your Alexa.

The desire to place this system in the bedroom might be strong, but Dr. Hannah Fry, a mathematician, and expert on tech company algorithms at University College London, implores users to keep such devices at a considerable distance from their private spaces.

In the privacy of your home, your Alexa might be privy to your personal conversations without you realizing it.

Per Liverpool Echo, upon requesting her personal data from several tech titans, Dr. Fry was taken aback to find content from her private conversations. She also noted that high-ranking figures in the tech industry steer clear of taking their smartphones into the bedroom, alerting potential consumers to be wary of budget-friendly technology equipped with internet-connected microphones.

While Amazon has reportedly acknowledged that employees occasionally listen in on conversations picked up by Alexa to enhance the device's understanding of human speech, a Bloomberg report suggested that staff can potentially listen to up to 1,000 recordings daily.

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Credit: Gado / Getty

Brad Thomas, from Prophecy International, has underlined the privacy implications.

According to Thomas, while these groundbreaking technologies serve as valuable time-savers and enhancers of daily life, they pose an unseen risk: inadvertently sharing your private information.

These ever-alert devices constantly gather data about you and your lifestyle, aiming to personalize their services - but their indiscriminate collection of data raises privacy concerns. The lack of a filter makes it all too simple to unintentionally hand over your private information to the tech giants.

An Amazon spokesperson stated, however, that Echo devices are designed to record only after detecting the chosen wake word, further signified by a blue light indicator on the device.

Aiming for transparent communication, the spokesperson confirmed that only a small fraction of one percent of Alexa's requests undergo a manual review as part of their effort to enhance performance.

Access to these instrumental review tools is limited to a handful of employees who use them to bolster the service quality. Putting any privacy concerns to rest, the spokesperson clarified that their review mechanism ensures no linkage between voice recordings and any identifiable customer data.

The spokesperson further explained that customers have the choice to opt out of recording options.

To safeguard privacy, users can navigate through the Alexa app to Settings > Alexa Privacy > Manage Your Alexa Data. From there, select Choose How Long to Save Recordings > Don't Save Recordings > Confirm. Following this, scroll down to Help Improve Alexa, and switch the Use of Voice Recordings setting to "off".

Featured image credit: Future Publishing / Getty

Experts warn people not to keep Amazon Echo Alexa in their bedrooms

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

If you own an Amazon Echo Alexa device, you need to listen to this crucial warning from experts: refrain from setting it up in your bedroom or any other private areas of your home.

Featuring a voice-activated interface, these devices make life simpler, offering weather updates, alarms, music, and more. However, tech gurus suggest that your living room, dining room, or kitchen are better-suited environments for your Alexa.

The desire to place this system in the bedroom might be strong, but Dr. Hannah Fry, a mathematician, and expert on tech company algorithms at University College London, implores users to keep such devices at a considerable distance from their private spaces.

In the privacy of your home, your Alexa might be privy to your personal conversations without you realizing it.

Per Liverpool Echo, upon requesting her personal data from several tech titans, Dr. Fry was taken aback to find content from her private conversations. She also noted that high-ranking figures in the tech industry steer clear of taking their smartphones into the bedroom, alerting potential consumers to be wary of budget-friendly technology equipped with internet-connected microphones.

While Amazon has reportedly acknowledged that employees occasionally listen in on conversations picked up by Alexa to enhance the device's understanding of human speech, a Bloomberg report suggested that staff can potentially listen to up to 1,000 recordings daily.

size-full wp-image-1263220631
Credit: Gado / Getty

Brad Thomas, from Prophecy International, has underlined the privacy implications.

According to Thomas, while these groundbreaking technologies serve as valuable time-savers and enhancers of daily life, they pose an unseen risk: inadvertently sharing your private information.

These ever-alert devices constantly gather data about you and your lifestyle, aiming to personalize their services - but their indiscriminate collection of data raises privacy concerns. The lack of a filter makes it all too simple to unintentionally hand over your private information to the tech giants.

An Amazon spokesperson stated, however, that Echo devices are designed to record only after detecting the chosen wake word, further signified by a blue light indicator on the device.

Aiming for transparent communication, the spokesperson confirmed that only a small fraction of one percent of Alexa's requests undergo a manual review as part of their effort to enhance performance.

Access to these instrumental review tools is limited to a handful of employees who use them to bolster the service quality. Putting any privacy concerns to rest, the spokesperson clarified that their review mechanism ensures no linkage between voice recordings and any identifiable customer data.

The spokesperson further explained that customers have the choice to opt out of recording options.

To safeguard privacy, users can navigate through the Alexa app to Settings > Alexa Privacy > Manage Your Alexa Data. From there, select Choose How Long to Save Recordings > Don't Save Recordings > Confirm. Following this, scroll down to Help Improve Alexa, and switch the Use of Voice Recordings setting to "off".

Featured image credit: Future Publishing / Getty