The idea of smart speakers that are constantly listening to us does sound like a privacy nightmare waiting to happen. In fact there have been several instances in which such a nightmare has become a reality, and now a report from German trade publication c’t has revealed another similar instance.


According to the report, it seems that due to a “human error” by Amazon, it allowed one Alexa user to eavesdrop on the home of another user. Apparently the user had asked to listen back to the recordings of his own activities on his Alexa device, and discovered that he was also able to access about 1,700 audio files from a stranger.

The report goes to claim that through the audio files, the publication was actually able to identify and contact the user, which is pretty scary when you think about it and if the information had gone to someone with more malicious intent. According to Amazon, “This unfortunate case was the result of a human error and an isolated single case.”

The company adds, “We resolved the issue with the two customers involved and took measures to further optimize our processes. As a precautionary measure we contacted the relevant authorities.” So if you are thinking about getting your hands on a smart speaker for Christmas, you might want to rethink that.

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