Amazon Alexa Sends Man 1,700 Recordings From a Stranger's House

Amazon attributes the privacy violation to "human error."

alexa device
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An Amazon Alexa user in Germany accidentally received another user's audio files while using his device. Amazon has attributed the privacy violation to "human error."

While attempting to access an archive of his own recordings, the German man's Alexa complied. But then Amazon also emailed him a link which contained access to 1,700 audio files from a stranger. The man ed Amazon about the mistake but at first got no response.

The files were subsequently deleted from the link, but by that point the German man had already downloaded them to his computer. The files included a man and a woman in discussion. The German tech magazine c't, which, was able to identify the man and him with the information given on the recording.

“We resolved the issue with the two customers involved and took measures to further optimize our processes. As a precautionary measure we ed the relevant authorities,” the Amazon spokesman added. The Seattle-based shopping giant also referred to the mishap as "an isolated single case.”

There have been other isolated cases of Alexa devices violating their owner's privacy. Earlier this year, a family in Portland, Oregon found that their private conversation had been sent to a random in a family member's phone.

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