As reported by the Washington Post, “[m]any smart-speaker owners don’t realize it, but Amazon keeps a copy of everything Alexa records after it hears its name.” According to the WashPost, “Alexa keeps a record of what it hears every time an Echo speaker activates. It’s supposed to record only with a ‘wake word’ — ‘Alexa!’ — but anyone with one of these devices knows they go rogue. [The reporter] counted dozens of times when mine recorded without a legitimate prompt.” Alexa’s voice archive “made headlines most recently when Bloomberg discovered Amazon employees listen to recordings to train its artificial intelligence. Amazon acknowledged that some of those employees also have access to location information for the devices that made the recordings.” In April 2019, “the California State Assembly’s privacy committee advanced an Anti-Eavesdropping Act that would require makers of smart speakers to get consent from customers before storing recordings. The Illinois Senate recently passed a bill on the same issue. Neither is much of a stretch: Requiring permission to record someone in private is enshrined in many state laws.”
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