Advanced search

Alexa recorded private conversation and sent it to someone in contact list

(112 Posts)
ElderflowerWaterIsDelish Fri 25-May-18 10:30:13

Aibu to be wary about ever buying one of these after knowing it can do that?

(although I still kind of want one for the other features it can dogrin)

NotARegularPenguin Fri 25-May-18 10:34:39

I won’t have one. I think it’s creepy that they can wake up automatically like this just because they think they’ve heard someone say Alexa.

There was a story in America where someone’s unit misinterpreted a background conversation and ordered a Wendy house off Amazon. This was reported on the local news and hundreds of households which had the news on tv had their Alexas order the same Wendy house!

mavismcruet Fri 25-May-18 10:39:21

I think they are creepy. Just makes me think of 1984 and “Big Brother is watching you”.

Cwenthryth Fri 25-May-18 10:43:13

Lol Penguin thats amazing.

I have our Alexa programmed to respond to "computer", because I like feeling like I am on Star Trek.

FissionChips Fri 25-May-18 10:47:37

I have our Alexa programmed to respond to "computer", because I like feeling like I am on Star Trek

Me toogrin.

peterpiperpickle Fri 25-May-18 10:55:01

My sister's one does this creepy laugh when its not even meant to be on. It also picks up random words in conversations and starts giving you info about them. It beyond me creeps me out, but I do admit i've been tempted to get one for some of the features they have

MissionItsPossible Fri 25-May-18 10:56:07


South Park deliberately triggered Alexa's off in a quite recent episode grin

I don't like them and don't know why people would willingly have one spy on you.

Although I am slightly confused by this quote in The Guardian:

“I felt invaded,” she told KIRO-TV. “A total privacy invasion. Immediately, I said, ‘I’m never plugging that device in again because I can’t trust it.’”

You bought a device to listen and record you in your own home and are now calling it a privacy invasion? hmm

CuppaSarah Fri 25-May-18 10:57:52

I will not have one of them in my house. While the most exciting thing that happens here is figuring out who had the last pain au chocolat, I'm not having a microphone, connected to the internet in my house.

It's far too easy to exploit, these things aren't half as secure as we'd like to think and I just don't want the agro.

MsJinglyJones Fri 25-May-18 10:58:50

I also don't want one and don't actually like the one my friend has – they are creepy and I don't like it having a human name. I'd prefer it being called "bot" or something.

But get this – yesterday I was walking along outdoors, on school run, and singing to myself a song by an unsigned band I knew a few years ago.

When I got in I got an alert from twitter suggesting I follow XXX who was the singer in that band! HOW DID IT KNOW???

hellsbellsmelons Fri 25-May-18 11:00:44

I won't have one.
They hear everything!!!
No thanks.
I've been told that the recordings have been used in the US to prosecute people.
I've no idea how true that is.

crunchymint Fri 25-May-18 11:01:43

Yes I think it is creepy and won't have one either.

AnnPerkins Fri 25-May-18 11:01:47

What are the amazing features? I thought it could just tell you the weather or play a song you ask for. If I could recite everything I needed and it did my Sainsburys online shop for me I would be tempted.

Carboholic Fri 25-May-18 11:03:22

“I felt invaded,” she told KIRO-TV. “A total privacy invasion. Immediately, I said, ‘I’m never plugging that device in again because I can’t trust it.’”

Hahaha!!! When you're being invaded, it is not customary to pay for the invasion yourself, carry the invadors into your home, and plug them in!!! grin

SandAndSea Fri 25-May-18 11:04:46

I think this whole thing is crazy and certainly won't be getting one.

Justanotherlurker Fri 25-May-18 11:06:00

One of the features of Alexa is to make "phone calls" to other Alexa users in your contacts.

It looks like what happened is that while they were talking about hardwood floors or whatever, Alexa misunderstood something they said as a request to call that contact. Then the other person just heard their continuing conversation.

This gels with the Amazon Engineer said Alexa "guessed" something they said.

Basically, there's no bug, other than the standard, "sometimes Alexa doesn't understand you correctly and does something else," which is par for the course. Which is why I don't have that feature enabled, or the feature that lets you order from Amazon. Basically, I want Alexa mistakes to have trivial consequences.

It wont stop the paranoia though

PerkingFaintly Fri 25-May-18 11:06:23

Amazon's Alexa recorded private conversation and sent it to random contact

Although Amazon maintains this was a malfunction rather than proof Alexa is always listening, the company has filed patent applications in the past for functionalities that involve always listening, such as an algorithm that would analyse when people say they “love” or “bought” something. The patent included a diagram where two people have a phone conversation and were served afterwards with separate targeted advertisements.

Ohmydayslove Fri 25-May-18 11:07:30


CaoNiMa Fri 25-May-18 11:08:05

Truly dystopian. And we're BUYING these things. In North Korea, listening devices are installed in every household for free...

dudsville Fri 25-May-18 11:09:28

I thought the recent X files wasn't very good, but did anyone see the episode where a sort of alexa was taking over the world in a deadly way? The demand of the robots requiring "voluntary" feedback on a meal they ate was hilarious!

Luisa27 Fri 25-May-18 11:09:50

I find them really creepy too - urgh

PeakPants Fri 25-May-18 11:10:02

Another person interested in what these amazing features are. If I want to check the weather, I check my phone. If I want to order something from Amazon, I use my laptop. If I want to turn on the lights, I get up off my arse and turn the switch. Are people really that lazy?

MsJinglyJones Fri 25-May-18 11:11:34

It's not really unjustified paranoia considering what;'s been happening with facebook etc.

Having a connected listening device in your house does mean potential for things going wrong, and for it being exploited.

cdtaylornats Fri 25-May-18 11:13:31


Mousefunky Fri 25-May-18 11:14:46

Very Orwellian. Not for me thanks.

BarbaraofSevillle Fri 25-May-18 11:14:59

Sounds like TV advertisers could exploit this tchnology by showing adverts that tell any Alexas in range to order the items they are advertising without people realising. I'm sure that will be against the advertising rules, but they may find ways to 'accidentally' do it.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: