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Old 04-11-2019, 06:09 AM   #1
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Your privacy is important to us

I don't have one of these gadgets, but I know many here do. This was interesting.
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Amazon has thousands of employees around the world that listen to voice recordings captured in the homes of Amazon Echo owners, reports Bloomberg.
Recordings are listened to, transcribed, annotated, and added back into the software as part of Amazon's effort to help Alexa better respond to voice commands. Amazon has facilities for Alexa improvement in places that range from Boston to Costa Rica, India, and Romania.
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Two workers told Bloomberg that they've heard recordings that are upsetting or potentially criminal, and while Amazon claims to have procedures in place for such occurrences, some employees have been told it's not the company's job to interfere.
Sometimes they hear recordings they find upsetting, or possibly criminal. Two of the workers said they picked up what they believe was a sexual assault. When something like that happens, they may share the experience in the internal chat room as a way of relieving stress. Amazon says it has procedures in place for workers to follow when they hear something distressing, but two Romania-based employees said that, after requesting guidance for such cases, they were told it wasn't Amazon's job to interfere.
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Alexa users concerned with the data that's being collected and used by Amazon should make sure to enable all privacy features and uncheck the option for letting Amazon save Echo recordings.
Amazon Workers Are Listening to What You Tell Alexa
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:15 AM   #2
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I bought a Ring camera foir my MIL last week. There was a free Echo included. I declined for this very reason

Plus i am boycotting Amazon. It feels like they are about to crack
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:17 AM   #3
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What? I thought they used our phones for that!
Honestly, the digital world has to be accepted with a bit of a grain of salt. In order to make you life easier, we will take your personal information/details/conversations/id...
As a software developer I have seen too much, I have almost zero digital footprint and neither does my DW. If I do an internet search on my name it comes up with a couple of funeral announcements of parents. That is it. I have an email address I never visit that I use when I am forced to enter an email address online. I have tape over my laptop camera and my microphone is off. The only deal with the devil I have made is with my phone. Its too damned useful, although I will never do banking/shopping from my phone.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:42 AM   #4
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Hey Wiretap.jpg
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:51 AM   #5
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That's why we don't have any personal assistant, they're listening all the time - unless you can and do mute it (maybe). I've had this conversation with many people who insist it's only listening when you say "Hey Alexa" or the assistants start command - that's false.

The real question is whether or not it's recording/data mining all the time. They all record (to the cloud) what you say after you summon them now, and they're capable of recording 24/7. But we'll never know when/if they do, and Google Assistant will be first to record/data mine everything, some credible sources say they are already. Google discarded "do no evil" a long, long time ago, it's VERY tempting for any personal assistant provider.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:54 AM   #6
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Yes. Another bit from the article:
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But sometimes Alexa gets it wrong—especially when grappling with new slang, regional colloquialisms or languages other than English. In French, avec sa, “with his” or “with her,” can confuse the software into thinking someone is using the Alexa wake word. Hecho, Spanish for a fact or deed, is sometimes misinterpreted as Echo. And so on.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:04 AM   #7
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The day that they were introduced I assumed that they were mining data.

Anyone who trusts Amazon, Google, or Facebook is foolish.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:32 AM   #8
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The only way to avoid it is to live like the Uni-bomber.

Imagine the fun with Alexa when visiting someone's house, if they step out of the room a person could discuss making a bomb, assassination plans, terrorist actions, etc. Maybe this is why the companies don't react as it's already been done before and was an embarrassment.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:35 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Music Lover View Post
The day that they were introduced I assumed that they were mining data.

Anyone who trusts Amazon, Google, or Facebook is foolish.
For that insult to these great companies, do not be surprised your next package is lost
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
That's why we don't have any personal assistant, they're listening all the time - unless you can and do mute it (maybe). I've had this conversation with many people who insist it's only listening when you say "Hey Alexa" or the assistants start command - that's false.

The real question is whether or not it's recording/data mining all the time. They all record (to the cloud) what you say after you summon them now, and they're capable of recording 24/7. But we'll never know when/if they do, and Google Assistant will be first to record/data mine everything, some credible sources say they are already. Google discarded "do no evil" a long, long time ago, it's VERY tempting for any personal assistant provider.
Do you use a smart phone? What apps are you using? If folks are going to use "smart" devices, expect to have an open mike for others to listen.
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:41 PM   #11
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If they are listening to our conversations via our Echo, they have already died of boredom.
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Old 04-11-2019, 01:15 PM   #12
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So are they actually uploading or retaining audio data other than what is uttered after what is believed by the device to be the watch word (ie 'Alexa' - 'Hey Google').

I know that the devices are constantly listening for the watch word, but is anything done with the data before the watch word is seen?

Mid-Packs comment above suggests yes.

I don't have an Alexa, but I do have an Android Phone.

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Old 04-11-2019, 02:02 PM   #13
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So are they actually uploading or retaining audio data other than what is uttered after what is believed by the device to be the watch word (ie 'Alexa' - 'Hey Google').
Not intentionally, but the article quoted the workers as saying they constantly get snippets of conversation uploaded after what the device thought was the code word, and they had no idea why it thought so.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:10 PM   #14
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Do any of these listening devices have an on/off switch? It would be sweet if one could press the "listen button" at desired times.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:13 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by GrayHare View Post
Do any of these listening devices have an on/off switch?
Yes.
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:36 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ExFlyBoy5 View Post
Do you use a smart phone? What apps are you using? If folks are going to use "smart" devices, expect to have an open mike for others to listen.
I do have a smartphone but I try to keep aware of the risks/tradeoffs. It's an iPhone because I am convinced it's less of a privacy concern than an Android, I could have saved a lot of $ with an Android but we ponied up for iPhones because of Apple stance on privacy (not perfect, but better than most and especially Google). I have as few apps as possible, and none of Google's. My phone on the kitchen table away from me when I'm home, and I doubt the mic could pic up anything when it's in my pocket, golf bag or somewhere muffled. It's rare that I'm near my phone out of a pocket. But thanks for checking...
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Old 04-11-2019, 04:09 PM   #17
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Do any of these listening devices have an on/off switch? It would be sweet if one could press the "listen button" at desired times.
Sweet idea turning it on/off , but are you thinking the owner or Amazon workers ??

Hey, how about the NSA workers, using laptop and cell phone camera's for a little peepingTom activity ? I put tape over my laptop so they don't get jealous
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