Some Amazon Echo Owners Say They Can’t Listen To Audio Snippets Accidentally Recorded By Alexa

Only a programmed “wake word” — either “Alexa,” “Amazon,” “Computer,” or “Echo” — will be supposed to activate Amazon’s voice-enabled Alexa devices. however sometimes, when someone says words with similar sounds, the speaker can be accidentally turned on in addition to will record conversations. Previously, users were able to listen to everything Alexa captures, including accidental recordings, through their Amazon account. However, recently the Alexa app stopped giving them access to those snippets.

The owners told BuzzFeed News which within the voice interactions history section of the Alexa app, the recordings appeared as “Text not available. Click to play recording.” After clicking, however, the play button was grayed out in addition to they couldn’t select the idea. The app displayed “Audio was not intended for your Echo—nothing was returned” below the play button. After testing This specific ourselves, BuzzFeed News found at least a dozen instances where accidental triggers could not be played back.

After BuzzFeed News reported the issue to Amazon, a spokesperson said, “This specific will be a bug in addition to we are working on a fix which should start rolling out early next week.” The spokesperson added which users can still visit to view, listen to, in addition to delete past voice recordings, including accidental ones. While playback will be currently experiencing issues within the Alexa app, the website can play all of the recordings Amazon has stored on its servers.

Frank Garritano, an Echo device owner who lives in Northern California, was unnerved by the large number of snippets marked as “not intended for your Echo” in his Alexa app.

“Basically, I’m being told we listened to This specific recording, the idea wasn’t germane to an Alexa request, so we decided you can’t listen to the idea either. Are you freaking kidding me? I’m the person which’s being recorded,” Garritano told BuzzFeed News.

Ian Mercer, who also owns an Echo device, said his Alexa app had at least two of these recordings on every page of his voice history. “Why does the idea even log the idea if the idea allegedly doesn’t record you?” Mercer said.

Mercer has spent the last 15 years working on what he calls “the planet’s smartest house” which incorporates some voice-activated technology not powered by Alexa or various other tech company-backed voice assistants, like Siri or Google Assistant. “I might prefer a device where audio recognition will be done on the device, rather than done on the cloud,” he said, citing privacy in addition to faster response times.

Earlier This specific week, a Bloomberg report revealed which a team at Amazon listens to users’ audio snippets recorded by devices, which have included accidentally captured audio. The people working on This specific team told Bloomberg which among various other things, they’ve reviewed recordings of what seemed to be a woman singing within the shower, a child screaming, in addition to a sexual assault.

While Amazon’s privacy policy says which Alexa’s software shares your Alexa interactions with the company, the idea doesn’t explicitly state how employees interact with the data.

In an emailed statement to BuzzFeed News, an Amazon spokesperson wrote which “an extremely tiny sample of Alexa voice recordings” will be annotated, in addition to reviewing the audio “helps us train our speech recognition in addition to natural language understanding systems.”

the idea’s all a Great reminder which any voice-activated system may be listening when you don’t intend for the idea to. You can always press the microphone button to deactivate the microphone on your Amazon Echo, or, of course, you can unplug the idea.