Alexa May Be Listening to Conversations Without Your Consent

Alexa May Be Listening to Conversations Without Your Consent

( – Smart devices like Alexa have taken convenience to a whole new level, enabling voice commands to play music, turn on lights, adjust the home thermostat, and more. The device, by default, is always on standby, so there’s often a chance it’s listening in on conversations — even recording them — without users’ knowledge or consent. In response, experts recommend users be mindful of where and how they use their Alexa devices.

Fox News says common living areas are ideal for product placement, but as long as Alexa is listening and responding to commands, users should remember that no conversation near the device will remain completely private. Amazon workers in the AI department review up to 1,000 recordings daily. While the company reportedly employs the practice to improve the device’s overall performance, strangers could overhear some intimate discussions as a result.

Placement near a television or radio could also pose problems because commercials mentioning Amazon’s Alexa could trigger the device to record without users’ awareness. But some areas are even more hazardous, and the potential for unwanted listeners isn’t the only danger Alexa users face.

Be Mindful of Location

CNET warns that devices sitting too close to windows could put users at particular risk. Thieves within vocal range might access the voice command features controlling other items. For example, if users have synced the AI to their car, anyone outside but close enough to the device could possibly order the vehicle to start. Make sure to keep Alexa only where intended users have access.

To end potential snooping, CyberGuy recommends users become familiar with Alexa’s “mute” feature. A quick hit of the button ensures its microphone is off. Alternatively, users can unplug the device before engaging in private conversations to ensure their discussions are safe. Regularly delete any unintentionally saved recordings by going to “Settings” in the Menu, clicking “Alexa Privacy,” and then choosing “Manage Your Alexa Data.” The option to set up a voice command to delete future audio clips is also available through this route.

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