Addressing the elephant in the room

Scared Amazon is listening to your Alexa? Well it turns out they are




A lot has been made recently of the privacy of Social Media and media giants such as Facebook, and Amazon listening in on our Social Media post. And worries of Alexa Amazon’s digital assistant listening in on your private conversations.

Well it turns out Amazon employees are doing just that. Can you imagine some geek is sitting in a cubicle listening to your most private conversations and creeping on your shower singing.

According to Bloomberg. Inc. employs thousands of people around the world to help improve the Alexa digital assistant powering its line of Echo speakers. The team listens to voice recordings captured in Echo owners’ homes and offices. The recordings are transcribed, annotated and then fed back into the software as part of an effort to eliminate gaps in Alexa’s understanding of human speech and help it better respond to commands.

Oh yea sure all they use it for is improving the digital assistant.

There is a team of Amazon employees across the world from India, Costa Rica, Romania and Boston listening in on everything from you ordering coffee to lovemaking. Well I added that in but do you really think this is used for pure motives? These people work 9 hour shifts sometimes listening to 1,000 clips per shift so what you say would have to be pretty juicy for them to creep on it. But it is possible.

The workers listen or things such as references to Taylor Swift to gauge users musical taste. But occasionally singing in the shower is detected. Some disturbing utterances such as abuse have been heard and there is an internal chat room to discuss those events. Amazon says they have a strict privacy policy.

“We take the security and privacy of our customers’ personal information seriously,” an Amazon spokesman said in an emailed statement. “We only annotate an extremely small sample of Alexa voice recordings in order [to] improve the customer experience. For example, this information 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.

“We have strict technical and operational safeguards, and have a zero tolerance policy for the abuse of our system. Employees do not have direct access to information that can identify the person or account as part of this workflow. All information is treated with high confidentiality and we use multi-factor authentication to restrict access, service encryption and audits of our control environment to protect it.”

Again yea right. What is not clear is if Amazon records it’s chairman Jeff Bezos sending pecker pictures to his young girlfriends. Probably not but his wife had someone that could detect that. Ha ha cost him almost 40 billion. I hope his girlfriend was worth it. Maybe you can ask Alexa.

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