A few days ago I was having a breakfast meeting with a good friend / client / old boss / titan of industry, and – of course – we started talking about technology and kids. We were both talking about our Amazon Alexa, when she mentioned something that disturbed me.
She told me a story of her brilliant 9 year old son going to the Amazon Alexa, and saying: “Alexa, who do you work for?”, to which Alexa responded, “I work for Amazon.”
Say what? Alexa didn’t say: “I work for you.”
Of course, I went home later that evening, and tested this out, to which I received the same response, “I work for Amazon.”
So, I now have a machine in my house that is connected to everything who doesn’t work for me, but works for Amazon? So, I now have a machine in my house, that is listening to my conversations at all times, learning my habits, but works for Amazon?
This is concerning. My good friend’s brilliant son was concerned. I am concerned.
While I don’t really think that Alexa is listening into my conversation, it does raise the questions of who could be listening to us? I know for a fact that the Alexa has a microphone, and is always listening, ready for me to say “ALEXA” – this leads me to believe that hackers could find a way to listen into my conversations, or law enforcement to secretly wiretap our house.
At least my Alexa doesn’t work for the CIA. But, might work for the RCMP.
Time to get rid of Alexa? Probably not, but privacy is something to think about with all the smart devices, baby monitors, and technology in your house.