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

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By VT

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If you're one of the many people to have an Amazon Echo Alexa device set up in your home, have you ever thought about the best place to keep it?

Well, experts have warned you never to keep these devices in your bedroom or other private spaces in your house.

GettyImages-1299513444.jpgExperts have warned against placing Amazon Echo products in the bedroom. Credit: Smith Collection/Gado / Getty

That's right, the voice-activated devices - which provide a range of features including weather updates, alarms, and music - are apparently best kept in the living room, dining room, or kitchen.

While it may be tempting to set the voice-activated system up in the bedroom (maybe you want to listen to some Marvin Gaye and set the mood), experts have warned that's not a great place to keep your Alexa.

According to Dr. Hannah Fry, a mathematician and expert on tech company algorithms at University College London, the tech products should be kept far away from private spaces in the home.

GettyImages-1358582844.jpgThe expert believes some areas need to remain private. Credit: Gado / Getty

She stated that many Amazon Echo owners are unaware that the AI assistant Alexa is recording some of their private conversations. "I think there are some spaces in your home, like the bedroom and bathroom, which should remain completely private," she said.

"This technology is activated by a trigger word but it keeps recording for a short period afterwards. People accept that, but we should all spend more time thinking about what it means for us," she added, per The Mirror.

She even revealed that she had sent out requests for her data from several major tech companies, and discovered that her data included some of the content from conversations she'd had in the privacy of her own home.

Dr. Fry subsequently stated that "very senior" people in the tech industry won't even take their smartphones in the bedroom, and that potential buyers should be well aware of low-priced technology with microphones linked to the internet.

Amazon has previously admitted that their staff listen to customers' conversations through Alexa, though they claimed this was only to improve the device's understanding of human speech, per the Liverpool Echo.

A 2019 report by Bloomberg, however, showed that staff are able to listen to up to 1,000 recordings a day.

GettyImages-1232197336.jpgYou can prevent your recordings from being logged. Credit: Future Publishing / Getty

Brad Thomas, from Prophecy International said: "These technologies are great time-savers and make life easier, but they also make it easy to inadvertently share private information without thinking.

"These devices are always on, collecting data about you and your habits to better provide services - but there is no filter, and they simply collect it all. This makes it too easy to share private data with big tech that you did not intend to share."

But a spokesperson for Amazon has responded to concerns, saying: "Echo devices are designed to record audio only after the device detects your chosen wake word. [...]

"Customers will always know when Alexa is sending your request to the cloud because a blue light indicator will appear on your Echo device.

"We manually review only a small fraction of one percent of Alexa requests to help improve Alexa. Access to these review tools is only granted to a limited number of employees who require them to improve the service. Our review process does not associate voice recordings with any customer-identifiable information."

The same spokesperson told the Liverpool Echo that customers can opt-out of having their conversations recorded, and that "one percent of voice recordings" get reviewed.

To delete conversations, customers can open the Alexa app, and visit Settings > Alexa Privacy > Manage Your Alexa Data. From here, select Choose How Long to Save Recordings > Don't Save Recordings > Confirm. Next, scroll down to Help Improve Alexa, and switch the Use of Voice Recordings to "off".

There... now the only people listening to your bedroom antics are your neighbors.

Featured image credit: Gado / Getty

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

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

If you're one of the many people to have an Amazon Echo Alexa device set up in your home, have you ever thought about the best place to keep it?

Well, experts have warned you never to keep these devices in your bedroom or other private spaces in your house.

GettyImages-1299513444.jpgExperts have warned against placing Amazon Echo products in the bedroom. Credit: Smith Collection/Gado / Getty

That's right, the voice-activated devices - which provide a range of features including weather updates, alarms, and music - are apparently best kept in the living room, dining room, or kitchen.

While it may be tempting to set the voice-activated system up in the bedroom (maybe you want to listen to some Marvin Gaye and set the mood), experts have warned that's not a great place to keep your Alexa.

According to Dr. Hannah Fry, a mathematician and expert on tech company algorithms at University College London, the tech products should be kept far away from private spaces in the home.

GettyImages-1358582844.jpgThe expert believes some areas need to remain private. Credit: Gado / Getty

She stated that many Amazon Echo owners are unaware that the AI assistant Alexa is recording some of their private conversations. "I think there are some spaces in your home, like the bedroom and bathroom, which should remain completely private," she said.

"This technology is activated by a trigger word but it keeps recording for a short period afterwards. People accept that, but we should all spend more time thinking about what it means for us," she added, per The Mirror.

She even revealed that she had sent out requests for her data from several major tech companies, and discovered that her data included some of the content from conversations she'd had in the privacy of her own home.

Dr. Fry subsequently stated that "very senior" people in the tech industry won't even take their smartphones in the bedroom, and that potential buyers should be well aware of low-priced technology with microphones linked to the internet.

Amazon has previously admitted that their staff listen to customers' conversations through Alexa, though they claimed this was only to improve the device's understanding of human speech, per the Liverpool Echo.

A 2019 report by Bloomberg, however, showed that staff are able to listen to up to 1,000 recordings a day.

GettyImages-1232197336.jpgYou can prevent your recordings from being logged. Credit: Future Publishing / Getty

Brad Thomas, from Prophecy International said: "These technologies are great time-savers and make life easier, but they also make it easy to inadvertently share private information without thinking.

"These devices are always on, collecting data about you and your habits to better provide services - but there is no filter, and they simply collect it all. This makes it too easy to share private data with big tech that you did not intend to share."

But a spokesperson for Amazon has responded to concerns, saying: "Echo devices are designed to record audio only after the device detects your chosen wake word. [...]

"Customers will always know when Alexa is sending your request to the cloud because a blue light indicator will appear on your Echo device.

"We manually review only a small fraction of one percent of Alexa requests to help improve Alexa. Access to these review tools is only granted to a limited number of employees who require them to improve the service. Our review process does not associate voice recordings with any customer-identifiable information."

The same spokesperson told the Liverpool Echo that customers can opt-out of having their conversations recorded, and that "one percent of voice recordings" get reviewed.

To delete conversations, customers can open the Alexa app, and visit Settings > Alexa Privacy > Manage Your Alexa Data. From here, select Choose How Long to Save Recordings > Don't Save Recordings > Confirm. Next, scroll down to Help Improve Alexa, and switch the Use of Voice Recordings to "off".

There... now the only people listening to your bedroom antics are your neighbors.

Featured image credit: Gado / Getty