Political Wrinkles  

Go Back   Political Wrinkles > General Discussion > Science, Inventions & Space
Register FAQDonate PW Store PW Trivia Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Science, Inventions & Space Discuss Family Removes Alexa Devices After a Stranger in Another Town Heard Everything They W at the General Discussion; Family Removes Alexa Devices After a Stranger in Another Town Heard Everything They Were Saying By Rachel Blevins Portland, Oregon ...

Reply
 
Share LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-05-2018, 10:20 AM
mr wonder's Avatar
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Virginia
Gender: Male
Posts: 10,877
Thanks: 9,685
Thanked 5,930 Times in 4,009 Posts
Default Family Removes Alexa Devices After a Stranger in Another Town Heard Everything They W

Family Removes Alexa Devices After a Stranger in Another Town Heard Everything They Were Saying

By Rachel Blevins
Portland, Oregon – A concerned family is speaking out after they claim that their Amazon Alexa device recorded a conversation they were having in their home, and sent it to a random contact who alerted them to the fact that he had heard everything they said.
A homeowner named Danielle, who asked for her last name to remain anonymous, told KIRO 7 that she and her husband were in their house, discussing home improvement projects and hardwood floors when they received an urgent call from one of her husband’s employees in Seattle.
“The person on the other line said, ‘unplug your Alexa devices right now, you’re being hacked,’” Danielle said.
“We unplugged all of them and he proceeded to tell us that he had received audio files of recordings from inside our house,” she said. “At first, my husband was, like, ‘no you didn’t!’ And the (recipient of the message) said ‘You sat there talking about hardwood floors.’ And we said, ‘oh gosh, you really did hear us.’”
The employee sent the couple the email he had received with the audio files, and Danielle confirmed that it was, in fact, a direct recording of their conversation. She told KIRO 7 that the Amazon Alexa had access to every room in her house because it controlled the heating, lighting and security system in her home.

“My husband and I would joke and say I’d bet these devices are listening to what we’re saying,” Danielle said, noting that they never imagined the smart device would record their private conversations and then make them public.
After unplugging all of the devices, Danielle said she called Amazon multiple times before she received a response. When an Alexa engineer finally looked into Danielle’s claims, she said he acknowledged that the device had recorded conversations inside her home and emailed them to a random contact, and he then apologized profusely.
“They said ‘our engineers went through your logs, and they saw exactly what you told us, they saw exactly what you said happened, and we’re sorry.’ He apologized like 15 times in a matter of 30 minutes and he said we really appreciate you bringing this to our attention, this is something we need to fix!” Danielle said.

However, one of the most alarming factors in the ordeal was that the Alexa device made a recording and chose to send it to a contact on its own, without alerting the homeowners to what it was doing or asking for permission. Danielle said the engineer did not explain why it happened, or if it was happening to other Alexa users.
In response to a request for comment on the issue, Amazon claimed that it “takes privacy very seriously. We investigated what happened and determined this was an extremely rare occurrence. We are taking steps to avoid this from happening in the future.”
Danielle is now seeking a full refund from Amazon on her Alexa devices, and she said that the incident left her feeling invaded and unsafe in her own home. “A total privacy invasion. Immediately I said, ‘I’m never plugging that device in again because I can’t trust it,‘” she said.

While there have been multiple reports of homeowners who are concerned about just how much their smart home devices are listening to them throughout the day, this is a unique example in which individuals were able to prove that their conversation was monitored, recorded, and shared without their consent.
Last month, a cybersecurity firm discovered that the request for Alexa to repeat or ask another question can be muted, which could leave Alexa listening for a reply from the user for hours, and creating an indefinite audio log. While Amazon claimed to have repaired the problem, a report from Gear Brain noted:
Cybersecurity researchers created a way for Amazon Alexa devices to eavesdrop on their owners, listening indefinitely without their permission and sending transcripts of the recordings back to the researchers. The flaw in how Alexa works, which has since been patched by Amazon, saw the creation of a seemingly innocent calculator ‘skill’—the word for an Alexa app—with code which caused Alexa to keep listening after providing the requested answer. This covert recording was then transcribed and sent to the researchers as a text document.
As The Free Thought Project has previously reported, while Amazon devices can be activated by a number of wake words, including, “Alexa,” “Amazon,” “Computer” and “Echo,” and users cannot turn off the required microphone, they can track what Alexa has recorded and delete it.

To track and delete recordings: Open the Alexa app, click on Settings, then click on History. You can then select and delete each entry...
....
https://www.activistpost.com/2018/05...re-saying.html
__________________
Hope is the dream of the waking man.
Aristotle

For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.
Job 14:6-8
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to mr wonder For This Useful Post:
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-05-2018, 10:22 AM
mr wonder's Avatar
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Virginia
Gender: Male
Posts: 10,877
Thanks: 9,685
Thanked 5,930 Times in 4,009 Posts
Default Re: Family Removes Alexa Devices After a Stranger in Another Town Heard Everything Th

Yes, Alexa is recording mundane details of your life, and it’s creepy as hell
I’m not kicking our smart speaker out of the house just yet, but the consequences of having it in my family’s life are becoming clear.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/6...reepy-as-hell/
Since last year I’ve had a smart speaker in my living room—an Echo Dot. My family uses it mostly to ask Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa, to play music. But after I saw a report that an Alexa-enabled speaker owned by a family in Portland, Oregon, had recorded a conversation and sent it to a contact, I started wondering: what is it picking up on at my house when we’re not talking to it directly?

So I checked my Alexa history (you can do that through the “settings” portion of the Amazon Alexa smartphone app) to see what kinds of things it recorded without my knowledge.

That’s when the hairs on the back of my neck started to stand up.

Beyond all the things I’ve clearly asked Alexa to do, in the past several months it has also tuned in, frequently several times a day, for no obvious reason. It’s heard me complain to my dad about something work-related, chide my toddler about eating dinner, and talk to my husband—the kinds of normal, everyday things you say at home when you think no one else is listening.

And that’s precisely why it’s terrifying: this sort of mundane chitchat is my mundane chitchat. I invited Alexa into our living room to make it easier to listen to Pandora and occasionally check the weather, not to keep a log of intimate family details or record my kid saying “Mommy, we going car” and forward it to Amazon’s cloud storage.
In the Amazon Alexa app (the iOS version is shown here), you can listen to and delete individual recordings. Hitting the Back button will bring you to the most recent one on the list.

Computing has marched toward ubiquity for years, and I’ve long been stuck between feeling excited and disturbed by the idea of having gadgets all around me that can track and do all kinds of things. As Amazon, Apple, and Google have ushered in their digital assistants over the past several years, I’ve rolled my eyes at some features and raised my eyebrows at others. But it wasn’t until this week that the reality set in—for me and, I’m guessing, for many other consumers—about what this constant accessibility truly means.

For example: there is a very real trade-off if you want to let technology decide when and what to listen to. Relying on wake words like “Alexa!” or “Hey, Siri” is sometimes wishful thinking. Bits of your private conversations may no longer be ephemeral, and it’s largely outside your control. And your kids may be accidentally triggering the smart speaker to start recording them, too.

I acknowledge my responsibility here as a consumer. I knew the array of seven microphones I had put in the center of my house could hear what we were saying and act on it. I also knew that things we asked Alexa to do were being recorded and sent to Amazon, and that I could play back these recordings and delete them if I wanted to.

But it’s actually quite frustrating to sort through them. You can scroll through months’ worth in the app, but after you select and listen to one, tapping the Back button brings you to the very top of the list again. Deleting hundreds of rogue recordings one by one in this way would take me a very long time. I could delete everything, including the legitimate recordings, in one go, but Amazon warns that this will make Alexa work less well, so of course I’m unlikely to do it.

I haven’t yet decided if Alexa will be leaving our home; I’m going to talk it over with my family first. But you can bet the Echo Dot’s microphone will be muted while we discuss it.
Do people just want ANYONE to know what's goes on in there homes. Is there any real way to say what Amazon or foriegn gov'ts or our own gov't is doing with this all the 24/7 recordings it's making.

By default it's always on, "just" listening for it's name to activate.

it's CRAZY to pay money for a in home spying service.
__________________
Hope is the dream of the waking man.
Aristotle

For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.
Job 14:6-8
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mr wonder For This Useful Post:
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 06-05-2018, 12:24 PM
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,408
Thanks: 8,862
Thanked 7,262 Times in 4,392 Posts
Default Re: Family Removes Alexa Devices After a Stranger in Another Town Heard Everything Th

Any time you hook anything to the internet, you are subjecting yourself to internet distribution. I do it as little as possible.

Until she died and the connection was terminated, I could access the internet through her smart thermostat connection. I have no doubt I could have accessed her computer files. I never tried.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 06-05-2018, 01:44 PM
RightofCenterLeftofCrazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Idaho
Gender: Male
Posts: 816
Thanks: 49
Thanked 595 Times in 352 Posts
Default Re: Family Removes Alexa Devices After a Stranger in Another Town Heard Everything Th

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
Any time you hook anything to the internet, you are subjecting yourself to internet distribution. I do it as little as possible.

Until she died and the connection was terminated, I could access the internet through her smart thermostat connection. I have no doubt I could have accessed her computer files. I never tried.
Is something missing here? Who is "she"?
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Zenock For This Useful Post:
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 06-05-2018, 02:30 PM
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,408
Thanks: 8,862
Thanked 7,262 Times in 4,392 Posts
Default Re: Family Removes Alexa Devices After a Stranger in Another Town Heard Everything Th

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenock View Post
Is something missing here? Who is "she"?
Sorry, yes. My neighbor.

My brain tends to work faster than my fingers. Which does necessarily mean my brain works excessively fast.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 06-05-2018, 02:43 PM
Manitou's Avatar
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas
Gender: Male
Posts: 19,063
Thanks: 281
Thanked 5,772 Times in 4,183 Posts
Default Re: Family Removes Alexa Devices After a Stranger in Another Town Heard Everything Th

Those devices from Hell bring a new meaning to "redistribute the wealth" (of information, that is).
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 06-05-2018, 09:57 PM
Scholar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,723
Thanks: 7,199
Thanked 2,440 Times in 1,671 Posts
Default Re: Family Removes Alexa Devices After a Stranger in Another Town Heard Everything Th

I've read that the government can look through one of those cameras that's built into a laptop. Some people put tape over them. I was doing that until I checked and noticed that with the angle of my camera all anyone could see was my fat gut so now I'm not worried.
As for extremist political opinions they would just need to log in here to find them out. CNREDD is probably Homeland security or something.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Topcat For This Useful Post:
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 06-06-2018, 01:40 AM
saltwn's Avatar
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Esto perpetua
Posts: 78,112
Thanks: 54,563
Thanked 25,878 Times in 18,447 Posts
Send a message via Yahoo to saltwn
Default Re: Family Removes Alexa Devices After a Stranger in Another Town Heard Everything Th

Someday they will be mandatory
cuz most errry thing else gene rodenberry dreamed up has come true
__________________
The United States government believes President Donald Trump is a felon. _____December 7th 2018
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 06-06-2018, 08:07 AM
Manitou's Avatar
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas
Gender: Male
Posts: 19,063
Thanks: 281
Thanked 5,772 Times in 4,183 Posts
Default Re: Family Removes Alexa Devices After a Stranger in Another Town Heard Everything Th

Quote:
Originally Posted by saltwn View Post
Someday they will be mandatory...
I perceive the wish of a servant looking for a master.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 06-06-2018, 11:44 PM
saltwn's Avatar
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Esto perpetua
Posts: 78,112
Thanks: 54,563
Thanked 25,878 Times in 18,447 Posts
Send a message via Yahoo to saltwn
Default Re: Family Removes Alexa Devices After a Stranger in Another Town Heard Everything Th

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manitou View Post
I perceive the wish of a servant looking for a master.
no that's just that poop emoji on your nose
__________________
The United States government believes President Donald Trump is a felon. _____December 7th 2018
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
after, alexa, another, devices, everything, family, heard, removes, stranger, they, town

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:32 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0