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Author Topic: Alexa IS listening to your private conversations: Web giant ADMITS  (Read 117 times)
CF DolFan
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cf_dolfan
« on: April 11, 2019, 09:55:44 am »

Wow ... we used to worry about Big Brother listening but now people are so brain washed they actually pay to bring them in tho their home! hahahaha


Alexa IS listening to your conversations: Web giant ADMITS clips are analysed by Amazon workers - including your most intimate moments.

Amazon workers are listening to private and sometimes disturbing voice recordings to improve the voice-assistants' understanding of human speech.

The company has admitted to its customers that thousands of recordings are being analysed by staff and transcribed before feeding them back into the software. 

As many as 1,000 clips are reviewed by workers in buildings all over the world, many of which do not bear any obvious indication that they are run by Amazon.   

Staff members have said that the work is mostly mundane, however they do come across embarrassing clips, like a woman singing off-key in the shower.

The teams use internal chat rooms to share files when they need help deciphering a muddled word - or come when they come across an amusing recording.

Among more sinister content the workers have heard, have been a child screaming for help and two instances were they believed they heard a sexual assault taking place.

Amazon last night confirmed the revelations when approached by Bloomberg saying that 'an extremely small sample of Alexa voice recordings' are analysed by staff.

In an emailed statement to MailOnline, an Amazon spokesperson said: '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.'

The report claimed staff had on occasions reported hearing recordings they described as distressing, but Amazon said they may share the experience in the internal chat room as a way of relieving stress.

Amazon told Bloomberg that it has 'procedures in place' for workers to follow when they hear something distressing.

But two employees said that after requesting guidance for such cases, they were told 'it wasn't Amazon's job to interfere'.

MailOnline has asked Amazon to elaborate on their procedures and policies regarding this but they did not respond by the time this article was published.

The company confirmed that it does use the recordings as part of its work to improve Alexa's ability to understand human language and speech patterns, but had strict security systems in place to keep user data safe.

We have strict technical and operational safeguards, and have a zero tolerance policy for the abuse of our system,' the spokesperson said.

'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.'

The help page of the Amazon website dedicated to Alexa states that Amazon may 'use your requests to Alexa to train our speech recognition and natural language understanding systems'.

It also confirms that the company 'associate your requests with your Amazon account to allow you to review your voice recordings, access other Amazon services and to provide you with a more personalised experience'. 

Concerns have been raised by some in the past that smart speaker systems could be used to listening into to user conversations, often with the aim of targeting users with advertising.

WHY ARE PEOPLE CONCERNED OVER PRIVACY WITH AMAZON'S ALEXA DEVICES?

Amazon devices have previously been activated when they're not wanted - meaning the devices could be listening.

Millions are reluctant to invite the devices and their powerful microphones into their homes out of concern that their conversations are being heard.

Amazon devices rely on microphones listening out for a key word, which can be triggered by accident and without their owner's realisation.

The camera on the £119.99 ($129) Echo Spot, which doubles up as a 'smart alarm', will also probably be facing directly at the user's bed.

The device has such sophisticated microphones it can hear people talking from across the room - even if music is playing.

Last month a hack by British security researcher Mark Barnes saw 2015 and 2016 versions of the Echo turned into a live microphone.

Fraudsters could then use this live audio feed to collect sensitive information from the device.   



https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6910791/Alexa-listening-conversations.html

 
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Cathal
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2019, 01:41:53 pm »

I'm not so sure this is new. I'd say it's almost common knowledge that these type of devices, including TVs, XBOX devices, and the like already spy on you. People just accept it.

EDIT: Yeah, Vizio admitted to this in 2017 (https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2017/02/08/shocking-smart-tv-manufacturer-vizio-spies-on-customers-using-advanced-big-data-analytics/#9dd5cf83a4f2) and I thought I remember LG or Samsung doing the same thing.
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CF DolFan
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cf_dolfan
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2019, 02:08:01 pm »

I'm not so sure this is new. I'd say it's almost common knowledge that these type of devices, including TVs, XBOX devices, and the like already spy on you. People just accept it.

EDIT: Yeah, Vizio admitted to this in 2017 (https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2017/02/08/shocking-smart-tv-manufacturer-vizio-spies-on-customers-using-advanced-big-data-analytics/#9dd5cf83a4f2) and I thought I remember LG or Samsung doing the same thing.
I think this is different as they are tracking your tendencies. Alexa is actually recording your conversations.
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pondwater
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2019, 04:04:23 pm »

I think this is different as they are tracking your tendencies. Alexa is actually recording your conversations.
There should probably be some kind of legislation against this stuff. If they wanted to improve the service they could have people OPT in some type of update beta test group or something. For this very reason, I have 3 google home minis that I got for free that are still sealed in the boxes since December. Probably going to need to invest in a good VPN for using most tech going forward.
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Pappy13
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2019, 04:09:01 pm »

I'm confused though, does Alexa record everything then or are they only talking about when Alexa is accidentally activated? Is it just deleted later and they have access to it while it's still available? Not sure exactly how Alexa works. I'm not worried or anything, just curious.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 04:11:17 pm by Pappy13 » Logged

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MyGodWearsAHoodie
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2019, 04:31:19 pm »

I suspect somewhere in the user agreement form, users have consented to this.
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pondwater
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2019, 04:45:18 pm »

I suspect somewhere in the user agreement form, users have consented to this.
I understand that part. It's just bad business though. You should have an option to opt in or not.
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Phishfan
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2019, 01:47:28 pm »

News flash. Your phone listens to you also.
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Tenshot13
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2019, 02:11:56 pm »

Just a few years ago, I refused to get an iPhone because of the fingerprint scanner.  Now, IDGAF, they have eyes everywhere. 
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Pappy13
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2019, 02:55:09 pm »

Just a few years ago, I refused to get an iPhone because of the fingerprint scanner.  Now, IDGAF, they have eyes everywhere. 
Were you afraid they were gonna match your fingerprints on the national crime database or something? What have you done? LOL
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Tenshot13
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2019, 02:57:28 pm »

Were you afraid they were gonna match your fingerprints on the national crime database or something? What have you done? LOL
Naw, I just cared more about my privacy before.  I have a clean record lol.
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MyGodWearsAHoodie
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2019, 03:29:23 pm »

I donít have a problem with the FBI having a copy of my finger prints, but my toys shouldnít be recording private conversations.
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BuccaneerBrad
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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2019, 08:10:24 pm »

Everything you do electronically leaves a trail.   Hell, they'll track your Sunpass usage to go after you.
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MyGodWearsAHoodie
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« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2019, 02:59:39 pm »

Hell, they'll track your Sunpass usage to go after you.

Have absolutely no problem with that. I have no expectation of privacy in someone observing that I drove on a road.  I do have an expectation that that a conversation I have in my house wonít be eves dropped.

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