PORTLAND, OR (CBSMiami) – Amazon is investigating after one of its Echo devices recorded a private conversation and sent it to a random contact.
The Portland woman said she had no idea her Amazon Echo listened to her and her husband, and then shared the conversation with one of his employees.
The woman, Danielle, said she was shocked to get a phone call urging her to disconnect her Alexa devices right away. After her experience, she’s vowing never to use them again.
“My husband and I would randomly joke sometimes like, I bet these devices are listening to what we’re saying,” she said.
Up until two weeks ago, every room in Danielle’s home was wired with the Amazon Echo. Her family used the Alexa app to do everything from turn up the heat to turn off the lights.
But Danielle said all that changed with an alarming phone call. One of her husband’s employees, who lives in Seattle, told her “unplug your Alexa devices right now!” He proceeded to tell us that he had received audio files, recordings from what was going on in their house.
Danielle immediately unplugged all of the devices and repeatedly called up Amazon. She says an Alexa engineer investigated her story and came up with the explanation that the device had guessed what we were saying.
In a statement to CBS, Amazon said, “background conversation was interpreted” by Alexa as commands to record and send the message.
“As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely,” the statement said.
“They have absolutely no right to listen in and record my conversations. It’s unheard of,” said Danielle.
Amazon says they take privacy “very seriously.” They called this a “rare occurrence” and they’re investigating to ensure that it does not happen again.