Amazon admits that its staff listens to customers' Alexa conversations

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According to the report, the workers are listening in on these conversations is in order to improve Alexa's speech recognition technology.

The company has admitted to its customers that thousands of recordings are being analysed by staff and transcribed before feeding them back into the software. The other user can be in just the other room or in a completely different city. However, the company does not explicitly mention that humans review customer recordings.

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"Whether that's a privacy concern or not depends on how cautious Amazon and other companies are in what type of information they have manually annotated, and how they present that information to someone", he continued.

Instead, it says all Alexa does it "answer your questions, fulfil your requests, and improve your experience and our services".

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Amazon told Bloomberg that it has "procedures in place" for workers to follow when they hear something distressing.

"We have strict technical and operational safeguards, and have a zero tolerance policy for the abuse of our system".

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The company also stated that employees can not identify the person or account relating to the voice recordings. "All information is treated with high confidentiality and we use multi-factor authentication to restrict access, service encryption, and audits of our control environment to protect it". The news site Bloomberg has discovered that the three vendors Amazon, Apple and Google all have personnel employed who listen to the voice recordings of the users of their smart speakers and speech-controlled apps. "To uphold user trust, I can imagine that Amazon Alexa would need to confirm they're talking to the right person, but also that there's no one else in the room listening to the conversation". At that, your best bet is still to get rid of anything powered by Alexa, which might not be an option for some, especially how the virtual assistant has been drastically improving recently with handy features such as ordering from Ticketmaster and making health-related inquiries.

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