Amazon's Alexa Reportedly Recorded a Family's Private Conversation — and Sent it to a Friend!
A Portland, Oregon, couple says their Amazon Echo recorded one of their private conversations and emailed the audio to a random contact more than 170 miles away in Seattle, according to a report.
A woman named Danielle told KIRO7 exclusively that she and her husband wired every room in their home with Amazon devices, relying on Alexa to control the home’s security system, heat and lights. But Danielle said the system did more than that about two weeks ago, when the couple got a shocking phone call.
“Unplug your Alexa devices right now,” the caller, an employee of Danielle’s husband, reportedly said. “You’re being hacked.”
They unplugged the devices, Danielle told the station, but were in disbelief when the man said he had heard their conversation. They soon became believers, however, when the employee said he heard the couple talking about hardwood floors.
“We said, ‘Oh gosh, you really did hear us,’ ” Danielle told KIRO7, adding that she was able to listen to the recorded conversation. “I felt invaded. A total privacy invasion. Immediately I said, ‘I’m never plugging that device in again, because I can’t trust it.”
Amazon officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.
Danielle said she contacted Amazon, and an engineer apologized for the incident and offered to “fix” the device.
In a statement to USA Today, Amazon officials explained that the Echo likely woke up after hearing what sounded like “Alexa” and, later, “send a message.” The engineer told USA Today that the device likely misinterpreted the couple’s conversation as a series of commands.