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Amazon’s Alexa: Is She Always Listening?

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Ever since Amazon’s Echo was released in late 2014, there have been numerous reports of strange occurrences happening with Amazon’s smart speaker, Alexa. Rumors have spread throughout the nation that the speaker is listening in on households’ conversations, without the owners’ knowledge. According to cbsnews.com, one consumer presents his worries saying, “I just think that it’s concerning that they would be able to have access to my private life.” Many consumers have had the same fear. Over time, other creepy and chill-inducing problems have risen to the surface.

Some people believe that Alexa listens in on peoples’ conversations to try and sell them products based on items that have been discussed around the speaker. It’s been proven that Facebook takes advantage of someone’s likes to give them specific ads that cater to them personally. However, Alexa released a statement saying that “There are no plans to add advertising to Alexa.” However, this statement could easily be resented in the future.

Recently, there have been multiple reports that Amazon Echos have been randomly laughing out of nowhere. Amazon finally responded to these accusations stating that “We’re aware of this and working to fix it,” according to theverge.com. Another website, money.cnn.com, states “The laugh happens randomly, when nobody is using the device, or in response to a request to turn on or off lights.” Many people have taken videos of them triggering the laugh response on purpose.

Even more concerning, is the theory that Amazon is recording everything you say and storing it indefinitely. Alexa is always technically listening, but it is only supposed to ‘tune in’ when the keyword, “Alexa” is mentioned. However, some people beg to differ. The vice president of WhiteHat’s Security threat research center, Ryan O’Leary, says “The Echo has to listen to everything. That’s kind of disturbing,” according to dailymail.co.uk.

It seems that no matter what shocking news is released about Amazon’s Echo, people will continue buying it. Amazon has sold over 20 million of these products since their initial release date. Even though these devices can be useful to hear music from or learn a recipe, are they worth the possible privacy violation? These are some things to think about before buying an Amazon Echo.

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Amazon’s Alexa: Is She Always Listening?