AMAZON workers monitoring Alexa commands have access to data which can track down a user’s home address, it was reported tonight.
An auditing team based on three different continents takes notes and analyses portions of voice recordings picked up by the popular Echo devices.
AP:Associated Press It’s claimed Amazon workers have access to location data
The state-of-the-art programme was apparently set up to help the household gadget become better at understanding voice commands, reports Bloomberg.
Now those working on the system have claimed the device also has access to location data and can, in come cases, even pinpoint addresses.
Although there is no evidence to show Amazon employees have attempted to track down any users, anonymous workers have expressed their concerns the data could end up in the wrong hands.
Location data is particularly sensitive according to Lindsey Barrett who is an attorney and teaching fellow at Georgetown Law’s Communications and Technology Clinic in Washington DC.
“Anytime someone is collecting where you are, that means it could go to someone else who could find you when you don’t want to be found,” she said
“Widespread access to location data associated with Alexa user recordings ‘would set up a big red flag for me.'”
Tonight Amazon told the Sun Online :“Access to internal tools is highly controlled, and is only granted to a limited number of employees who require these tools to train and improve the service by processing an extremely small sample of interactions.
“Our policies strictly prohibit employee access to or use of customer data for any other reason, and we have a zero tolerance policy for abuse of our systems.
“We regularly audit employee access to internal tools and limit access whenever and wherever possible.”
The Alexa smartphone app prompts users to enter a home address when they set up their device. It also asks for permission to use smartphone location data.
A limited number of Amazon employees have access to location information of the devices.
This information is used to help improve location-specific commands made by customers, for example, improving the accuracy of requests like ‘Alexa, where is the closest coffee shop?’
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Last year, experts warned the Echo smart speaker could be breached by sneaky hackers.
They claimed they proved that if they could get physical access to an Amazon Echo speaker, they could easily spy on anyone speaking nearby.
A team of security experts from China’s Tencent corporation demonstrated the attack at a hacker convention in August.
Amazon is listening to YOUR Alexa device and workers have recorded a woman singing in the shower and a sex assault