News has surfaced that Amazon is considering handing transcripts of everything Alexa hears over to third-party developers, with the aim to get better at doing customer service. The Information reports that some teams already have access to full recording data, though it’s not clear which developers get added to that list and why. With security concerns raised around personal data, Lee Munson, security researcher at Comparitech.com commented below.
Lee Munson, Security Researcher at Comparitech.com:
“Nowadays, just about anything anyone gets for ‘free’ on the internet is paid for with their personal data but, for Amazon it seems, that simply isn’t enough of a one-sided deal.
“Not only is the company able to record everything its Alexa and Echo devices hear – and there have already been court cases with a keen interest in that information – but consumers are also happy to hand over a pile of cash for the privilege, Prime day or no.
“Now, things are worse.
“Or at least they could be, should Amazon follow through with its plan to share transcripts of everything overheard by its devices to third-party developers, ostensibly with service improvements in mind but… yeah, who really knows what that data will be used for?
“Thus, it is imperative that owners of Alexa, Echo, Google Home and other similar devices think very carefully about where they put them and how they use them.
“Ideally, they should be switched off or muted when not in use but if that is not entirely practical, old recordings should be deleted, important accounts not linked to the devices and “end or request” signals activated.”