Amazon: Alexa 'Error' Granted Man Access to Another User's Voice Recordings

Amazon: Alexa 'Error' Granted Man Access to Another User's Voice Recordings

In one such goof-up, an Amazon user in Germany, who requested for his stored data from Amazon, received some additional data that had recordings of another user, stored by the latter's Alexa.

The man heard on the audio files was identifiable through the information on the Alexa recordings and contacted by the German magazine.

In response to the incident, an Amazon spokesperson told Reuters, "This unfortunate case was the result of a human error and an isolated single case".

"We resolved the issue with the 2 customers involved and took measures to further optimize our processes. We were also in touch on a precautionary basis with the relevant regulatory authorities", Amazon added. He saved the files and shared his story with Germanys' C't magazine. As per the report, the recordings consists of conversations between a male and female.

The customer contacted Amazon about the incident but nothing came out of it; he made a decision to contact CT and provided CT with a sample of the files. According to c't magazine, this was peculiar to this user because he doesn't own any Alexa devices and had never used the service.

The audio files, which were in German, revealed private data about the person, including their first and last name, who their partner is, where they lived, and their taste in music.

Imagine if you had Amazon Alexa-enabled speakers all over your house.


According to German trade publication c't, an Alexa user in the country was able to access recordings picked up by an Echo device that wasn't his. There is no option, however, to block Amazon from storing recordings in the first place.

The report also showed sources noting that a hack of Amazon traced back to China likely exposed some customers' data.

Amazon Echo devices, which are powered by the Alexa voice assistant, provide a gateway to the e-commerce giant's shopping platform and can connect to more than 20,000 smart home devices, The Washington Post reported.

Only it's not. Earlier this year, a USA couple found their Alexa had recorded a private conversation and sent it to another person.

Notably, Amazon didn't reply and the download link sent to him by Amazon now stands dead.

Within a few days, both Schneider and the unwitting exhibitionist had been contacted by Amazon, who told them that someone in the company had made a "one-time error". The Amazon case demonstrates that leaks may happen for numerous reasons including successful hacking attempts, software error, or human error.

Related Articles