Amazon Staff Listening In On Customers Through Alexa Devices

April 11, 2019

MUENSTER – JANUARY 27, 2018: White Amazon Echo Plus, Alexa Voice Service activated recognition system photographed on wooden table in living room, Packshot showing Amazon Logo

Bloomberg has reported that Amazon employees have been listening to customers on Alexa devices, according to claims made by seven former employees of Amazon’s voice review program.

Apparently, employees of the voice review program listen to thousands of voice recordings, transcribe and annotate them, and then feed them back into the software. Amazon says this process is in place to improve how Alexa works.

A spokesperson for the company said in a statement, “…an extremely small sample of Alexa voice recordings [are analyzed]. [The process] helps us train our speech recognition and natural language understanding systems, so Alexa can better understand your requests, and ensure the service works well for everyone.”

At times however, the recordings featured sensitive information including intimate moments within customer’s lives and even crimes in progress. Amazon has insisted that not all of their customer’s conversations are recorded.

The spokesperson went on to say, “…all information is treated with high confidentiality using multi-factor authentication to restrict access, service encryption, and audits of our control environment to protect it.”

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