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Last week, MNB reported on how a Portland, Oregon, couple had to unplug all their Amazon-branded, Alexa-powered devices after they learned that not only where their private conversations being recorded, but then were being emailed as audio files to someone on their contact list.

Now, Amazon has provided an explanation of the incident to Digital Trends:

“Echo woke up due to a word in the background conversation sounding like ‘Alexa.’ Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a ‘send message’ request. At which point, Alexa said out loud, ‘To whom?’ At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customer’s contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, ‘[contact name], right?’ Alexa then interpreted background conversation as ‘right.’ As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely.”
KC's View:
I haven’t turned off my Alexa-powered system yet, but I must admit to being not entirely satisfied by the Amazon explanation … perhaps because it seems more like an excuse than anything else.

I think Amazon has to do better - perhaps with some sort of failsafe system that prevents these situations from occurring. But it has to start with better communications, and Amazon has a way to go in this area.