Amazon employees may know your conversations and addresses

alexa-listening

Some Amazon employees are able to know the addresses of users who have a voice assistant equipped with Alexa, as well as listen to some of their conversations with Alexa.

A few weeks ago, a Bloomberg survey showed that some Amazon employees had access to the conversations users have with Alexa. But that’s not all, since the news agency also claims that they can very easily access the geolocation of these customers. Some employees also reportedly had access to the telephone numbers of a small number of people.

amazon-alexa

Indeed, one of Amazon’s employees showed that it only took him a short time to find the geolocation of an Alexa user, so he can easily have his address and, therefore, his identity. Until now, Amazon had defended itself by stating that “employees do not have direct access to information that identifies the person or account”.

Nevertheless, Amazon now defends itself by stating that “access to internal tools is highly controlled”, adding that it “strictly prohibits employees from accessing user data for any other reason[than to improve Alexa, NDLR]”.

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Amazon employees who are able to listen to users’ conversations with Alexa are in possession of several pieces of information, such as the device’s serial number, but also sometimes the user’s customer account number. In comparison, Bloomberg points out that this is not the case in companies – at least in the West – that offer competing smart assistants, such as Apple and Google. At the latter, employees also sometimes listen to users’ conversations, but they are not in possession of this data.

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