Smart Speakers Can Be Spying Secretly Without You Knowing It, How Do You Prevent This?

Prompts on how to use Amazon's Alexa personal assistant are seen in an Amazon ‘experience centre’ in Vallejo, California,
Prompts on how to use Amazon's Alexa personal assistant are seen in an Amazon ‘experience centre’ in Vallejo, California, U.S., May 8, 2018. (Photo: To match Insight AMAZON.COM-ALEXA/ REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage)

Smart speakers could secretly be spying users without them realizing it.

A recent report stated that an Amazon Echo user from Portland Oregon discovered her conversation with her husband has been recorded allegedly and sent to one of her husband's employees on their contact list.

She said that they received a call from the said employee telling them that a part of the couple's discussion was sent to him which brings out the idea that their smart speaker could be secretly spying on them.

A representative from Amazon later clarified that a part of the couple's conversation was what triggered Alexa's action. Amazon explained that Alexa heard a phrase that sounded like a 'wake word' and that woke her up to begin doing her job.

Co-incidence as it may seem to them because the following parts of the conversation paved way for the smart speaker allegedly spying to continue and accomplish its task, according to Lad Bible.

According to Amazon, a phrase that sounded like 'send message' was what the Echo heart next wherein Alexa answered 'to whom?'. The exchange of unintentional instructions derived from the couple's conversation and the Echo responding to each assumed command continued until finally, the smart speaker sent the part of the conversation to the husband's employee.

Mashable hinted that the smart speakers allegedly spying secretly are designed to make sense of what it hears. They are to try to understand what they hear and obey as they designed to function.

The case smart speaker allegedly spying secretly which is one case out of millions of sold Echos can be dealt with and is in the hands of the consumer. Here are a few ways on how to keep smart speakers from recording and sending recorded messages without the owner's knowledge.

There is an option to change the wake word that initializes the smart speakers to function. If users often use the default wake word during conversations, changing it to a more rarely used wake up word can be helpful.

For people always on the go, smart speakers' directly sending messages to people listed on their contacts come handy. However, if it is not that necessary, not granting Alexa's access to the contacts is a smart choice.

It is safer to set the Echo in a mode that will require the user to repeat the wake-up word if it is unclear before initializing and performing its task. Turning off the follow-up mode will do the thing.

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