In December 2017 my wife and I purchased the Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot for my son’s birthday. In the 4 months we have owned the devices, we mainly use them as a timer, a light switch for a living room light (via a wireless plugin) and playing music from our Amazon account.
Yesterday, Easter Sunday, I was sitting in my living room in the evening. With no command (Alexa), I start to hear what sounds like a family conversation on my Echo. I’m the only person in the room. It takes me by surprise, so I click the + button to raise the volume on the Echo to clarify what I’m hearing.
It’s a women, a man, a child, a grandparent… none of which are my wife or my son.
I quickly reach for my cell phone to record what I’m hearing but I can’t find the app on my phone. My son enters the room, I frantically ask him where is the voice recording app on my phone (he plays with it from time to time). He asks “who is that”, in reference to the family laughing in the background about “how cute the bunny ears look on her”. I said to my son, that is another families private conversation, playing on our Alexa.
My son finally finds the voice recording app, I click it to open the app and the 30+ second private conversation from someone else’s home stops playing on my Amazon Echo.
It made me feel sick.
This wasn’t a computers voice, this was a family, enjoying Easter, privately at home. Was it my neighbor? a family from a different state? I don’t know or want to know!
I’m assuming they have an Amazon Alexa device of some sort, maybe not. The families conversation didn’t indicate they had any idea that what they were saying was being broadcast into my home. Somebodies private conversation was playing through my Amazon Echo for 30+ seconds and I had no control over it, nor did it seem they did. There isn’t a “record” button on the device, nor a broadcast feature.
I didn’t sleep well last night and this situation had to do with it. It’s creepy! It’s not right! These companies say they won’t do this or won’t do that but I have lost all faith and trust in the Amazon Echo. A families private conversation should never play into my home, period. You can have all the privacy laws in the world, but when you hear somebodies private conversation playing in your home, it’s creepy and not right. It should never happen!
I now have a couple hundred dollars worth of Amazon Alexa equipment that is unplugged and will never be used again in my home!
This should have never happened but it did!