Outrage as Amazon’s Alexa listens to Brits having sex, rowing, swearing and sharing medical news

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A Sun investigation today reveals Amazon staff can listen to Alexa recordings of British couples rowing, discussing private family matters — and having sex.

The sounds of lovemaking are among noises that can trigger Alexa-activated Echo speakers, which make recordings as users speak to them.

We reveal everything Amazon Alexa hears in your home
A Sun investigation today reveals Amazon staff can listen to Alexa recordings of British couples rowing and having sex.
Paul Edwards – The Sun

Amazon staff listen to a proportion of the recordings in order to monitor and improve the system.

The Sun discovered an English-speaking Amazon team in Bucharest, Romania, monitors thousands of Alexa recordings — and has heard private moments including family rows, money and health discussions — and couples having sex.

A 28-year-old female former analyst there said: “It’s been said that couples having sex and even what sounded like a sex attack have been heard by staff.

“There were times when I heard couples arguing at home and another when kids were trying to teach Alexa to swear.

WHAT AMAZON STAFF KNOW ABOUT YOU

“We were told to focus on Alexa commands but it was impossible not to hear other things going on.”

Tory MP Andrew Rosindell was appalled by our revelation. He added: “These devices are being used to invade people’s privacy.”

Campaign group Privacy International said: “We need stronger laws to protect the public from devices which are always on and always listening. People with these devices are right to feel creeped out and concerned.

Apple’s Siri, the tech giant’s alternative to Alexa, similarly records requests for monitoring.

And a source said Siri is so sensitive it can be triggered by the sound of a zipper. The source said: “There have been countless instances of recordings featuring private discussions between doctors and patients, business deals, criminal dealings, sexual encounters and so on. Siri often hears the sound of a zip as a trigger.” It is claimed Siri is particularly prone to accidental triggers on Apple Watches.

ALEXA TURNS ‘ACCIDENTALLY’ ON

A whistleblower said: “The regularity of accidental triggers on the watch is incredibly high.

“These recordings are accompanied by user data showing location, and contact details.

“You’ll hear a doctor and patient, talking or people engaging in sex.”

Alexa is thought to be in around 6.5million UK homes But many users will be unaware that their terms of use allows Amazon staff to listen to recordings.

The sounds of sex are among noises that can trigger Alexa-activated Echo speakers
The sounds of sex are among noises that can trigger Alexa-activated Echo speakers
Getty – Contributor

The analyst said: “Amazon told us every one we were listening to had consented so I never felt like I was spying.”Other workers say they are banned from discussing their work by non-disclosure agreements.
Amazon says it analyses recordings to “improve the customer experience” by teaching Alexa to respond better to commands.

It has stressed that employees listening to as many as 1,000 recordings a day cannot identify customers and are bound by strict confidentiality rules.

Amazon also has a US Alexa listening post in Boston and others in Costa Rica and India.
The NHS last week announced a tie-up with Alexa. Users will in future be able to access health information via an NHS website.

Apple said less than one per cent of UK voice activation recordings were listened to by staff.

It said: “User requests are not associated with the Apple ID.


“Siri responses are analysed in secure facilities and all reviewers are under the obligation to adhere to Apple’s strict confidentiality requirements.”

Amazon said: “We take the security and privacy of our customers’ personal information seriously.

“We only annotate an extremely small sample of recordings.”

The Sun discovered an English-speaking Amazon team in Romania who listen to Alexa recordings from Britain 
The Sun discovered an English-speaking Amazon team in Romania who listen to Alexa recordings from Britain
Doug Seeburg – The Sun

Getty – Contributor

There have been countless instances of recordings from devices featuring private discussions between doctors and patients[/caption]

Getty – Contributor

The devices are also said to have heard couples having rows or discussing private matters[/caption]

 

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