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Amazon employees are listening to what you say to Alexa — here’s how to stop them

Home The Lounge Amazon employees are listening to what you say to Alexa — here’s how to stop them

  • Avatar notadoc 
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    Status: Other Professional
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    Joined: 07/15/2016
    • Amazon employees are listening to what some people say to Alexa.
    • Amazon says this is to help improve Alexa’s functionality.
    • There’s a setting that lets you turn off the option to share this data with Amazon.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/11/how-to-stop-amazon-from-listening-to-what-you-say-to-alexa.html

    #205712 Reply
    Avatar Peds 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 01/08/2016

    also google has been recording your audio without opt in choice since like 2012:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vWAF13KigI

    #205720 Reply
    CordMcNally CordMcNally 
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    “Here’s how to stop them” – don’t get one.

    “But investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.”
    ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

    Avatar Peds 
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    “Here’s how to stop them” – don’t get one.

    Click to expand…

    you do know >100MM have been sold…..

    and that number isnt going down anytime soon….

     

    another example, my current apt came with one….i didnt buy it….so how do i “not get one?”

    #205727 Reply
    CordMcNally CordMcNally 
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    another example, my current apt came with one….i didnt buy it….so how do i “not get one?”

    Click to expand…

    Unplug it?

    “But investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.”
    ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

    #205729 Reply
    Avatar Peds 
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    Unplug it?

    Click to expand…

    who said i was using it? your comment said dont get one….

    #205733 Reply
    Lordosis Lordosis 
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    Splash Refinancing Bonus

    I just found out that everything you asked Alexa is recorded and saved on the app.
    Looking through it there is a lot of things that sound enough like Alexa to trigger the recording. Most of it is kids yelling in the background.

    “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”

    #205828 Reply
    Avatar Panscan 
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    People are obsessed with this stuff. There’s no such thing as privacy in 21st century. People just don’t care. I don’t understand it.

    #205834 Reply
    Avatar mxg67 
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    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 11/25/2016

    We unplugged ours when she started say things out of nowhere.  Friends have gotten suspicious targeted ads right after talking about the same topic near alexa. No thanks.

    #205973 Reply
    IntensiveCareBear IntensiveCareBear 
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    Status: Physician
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    This is nothing new. You can plainly look at a list of the things you have asked and told Alexa right on the app. They all get saved.

    They are cool little devices. I don’t like Amazon much overall, but these are definitely a cool gadget. I use them for music, trivia, Googling things like weather or sports scores or stock prices or whatever, controlling the smart lights and thermostat, nature sounds to fall asleep or meditate, etc etc etc. It is quite useful when you get the hang of it, it doesn’t run out of battery or strain your eyes like being glued to the phone/computer, and guests really get a kick out of the Alexas. The only downside I’ve found is that the cleaning service always screws up my light switches since the workers can’t seem figure out the voice controls for smart lights, and it causes me to have to spend a couple minutes after each cleaning resetting the switches (#firstworldproblems).

    Personally, I could care less if Amazon does analytics to help improve Alexas. I would be shocked if they were not. You can always unplug it anytime; I’m guessing that if you are the type that is paranoid of people listening, you won’t trust the mic mute button (red ring) feature… so just unplug it. I definitely unplug mine when I host mafia meetings, drug-fueled orgies, Craigslist purchases from black market Russian arms dealers, child fight clubs in my basement, etc… but, alas, I don’t really tend to do any of that stuff. The Alexas just stay on.

    You will get way more targeted banner ads on websites, pop-ups, spam emails, listed for catalogs and junk mail from just your normal web browsing, email, use of credit cards, ordering of goods and magazines, Facebook, and Google searching. They nearly all track you and sell or trade or pool info. Those 10 fashion and nutrition catalogs in my mail each month and random emails and banner ads for vitamins and shoes and similar I get aren’t by accident… they’re probably because I subscribe to GQ an MensHealth, I search those things, and I buy those types of things. As was mentioned, it is basically part of life these days. If you don’t like it, don’t use technology and pay cash for everything. Otherwise, we are heading eagerly closer to that The Circle movie with Tom Hanks… except with normal looking people, not hot actors and actresses. C’est la vie.

    I knew of the saving of Alexa info full well when I bought them… it is like Windows sending error reports, credit cards analyzing your spending, Publix card sending you coupons for things you tend to buy often, or many modern cars recording your driving patterns and locations. It will be interesting to see what these Alexa and Google home devices continue to evolve to… I’m hoping for something like the hologram assistants in Blade Runner 2049 one day that can control all of the other home appliances, cook, clean, etc. Sign me up 🙂

    …tinfoil hats aside, the only legitimate thing most people may want to do with Alexa is set it to “Do Not Disturb” (purple ring) in the Alexa app. You need to do it for each device separately if you have multiple in the home. This can be important. Doing that disables the “drop-in” and calling features (green ring), where anyone with a smart phone app and your Amazon password can “drop-in” and listen (+/- converse) from anywhere through the Alexa device in your home. Teenagers, spouse, friends etc can figure out that ‘hack’ pretty fast, and you are basically allowing them to eavesdrop anytime they want if you tend to give out your Amazon password for sharing Prime music or movies or ordering or whatever. That has happened to a few of my buddies and could potentially be a much bigger headache than any random Amazon analysis and R&D of Alexa questions/commands . If nobody else has your Amazon password, that’s drop-in listening is not an issue. Despite never giving out my password, I still “Do Not Disturb” them all nonetheless, in case my password ever got compromised for some reason. GL and enjoy the weekend

    "Hmm, that sounds risky." - motto of the middle class

    #206015 Reply
    Avatar Doc Spouse 
    Moderator
    Status: Small Business Owner, Spouse
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    Joined: 10/20/2017

    It’s a brave new world.

    Here’s another fun one if you have an android phone and a linked Google account (I’d check even if you don’t think it’s linked).

    Go into your Google account.

    Find History or just go directly to https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity

    They change things around often (for efficiency, definitely not to hide it from people) so look for things dealing with Audio (voice, assistant learning, etc)

    Scroll down and see all the voice to text messages you’ve ever sent!  Hit play and listen to your own voice going back six or seven years that you never knew was recorded!

    For extra fun, even if you don’t have an android phone, go to https://myactivity.google.com/more-activity and see all the other things that google is tracking you with.

    Having Alexa or something similar in your home is a personal choice, but don’t for one second think that they aren’t listening, recording, and figuring out ways to monetize what you’re saying. Same goes for your phone, internet browser, etc.  I swapped to Brave browser a few months back and love it.  Highly recommend it to anyone who wishes privacy (or just hates ads).

     

    #206025 Reply

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