In a shocking incident, Amazon Echo has sent the private conversation of a Portland couple to one of the random contacts some 176 miles away reveals KIRO news. Luckily the conversation happens to be nothing, but only regarding hard floors. Also, the random contact happens to be one of the husband’s employees. Portlander Danielle said that she came to know about the incident only when the employee of her husband alerted the couple regarding the incident, and they could hardly believe. When he alerted them to switch off all the Alexa devices as they are being snooped, they simply thought it was a joke. But when he revealed the conversation that happened between the couple regarding hard floors, then only they realised it.
The couple were shell-shocked and immediately switched off all the Alexa devices in their home. Such was their love for Alexa devices that they equipped all of their rooms with them for the control of heat, lights and even the security systems. Danielle immediately switched off all the Alexa devices and never switched them again. Later she made a call to the Amazon customer care and narrated the whole incident. Then an engineer from Amazon visited the house and gone through all the logs and confirmed the incident to be true. He apologised her multiple times and thanked her for bringing the issue to their attention. But he didn’t say any intricate details regarding the incident.
What could be the possible scenario?
It looks as if the digital assistant misheard something and took it as an instruction to record the conversation as a message. Further, it could also have misheard asking it to send the conversation to a particular contact. All this Alexa has done without saying anything back. Since the house is equipped with multiple Alexa devices, it could have asked for confirmation to a wrong device. Amazon released a statement in this regard saying, they had taken the issue seriously. The incident is a case of rarest of rare occurrence, and they have initiated all the possible steps to see that such type of incidents does not occur shortly. Whatever may be the case, this incident exposes the flaws associated with digital assistants. This comes at a time digital assistants are taking rapid strides constantly updating them with latest technological features. The incident also poses serious question concerned with the privacy of the users.