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Video: Woman reveals possible Amazon spying; thousands of recordings, location data and more

Laptop in a dark room. (PxHere/Released)
October 20, 2021

A woman reportedly requested all of the data that Amazon has collected on her through her home devices, including smart speakers like the Amazon Dot and Amazon Echo, and was stunned to see Amazon had compiled thousands of voice recordings, location data and more.

In a video posted on the social media platform TikTok under the username, the woman reveals that Amazon has collected an astonishing amount of data from her day-to-day life.

“I requested all of the data that Amazon has on me and here’s what I found. So, for reference, I have two Dots and one Echo. We also use Smart Bulbs,” she explained.

The woman then says that she downloaded a zip file that she received from the tech giant, which had 21 files inside featuring labels like “Audio and Transcription,” “Location,” “Communication – Messages,” “Shopping” and “Video.”

“I decided to click on the ‘audio’ one and this is what they have. These are all short voice clips,” she explains while scrolling through dozens of clips. “Which is so scary.”

“This one is of me turning on a light,” she continues, before pressing an audio clip of her saying, “Alexa, turn on the living room light.”  

According to the woman, there were over 3,000 short audio clips in just one file.

She then shows that Amazon has a full list of her contacts from her phone, and claims she “never remember syncing that.”

“The very last thing that I didn’t know that they had, I could have assumed that they had but I don’t love that they have, is my location,” she says, noting that they can determine where an Alexa is located in users homes down to the latitude-longitude coordinates.

“So to answer your question, I’m not totally comfortable with everything they have,” the woman concluded.

It isn’t the first time concerns about privacy have been raised around Amazon products.

Last month, Amazon unveiled a new home robot named Astro, capable of moving on its own from room to room in a user’s house.

“We get together every once in a while and we organize a senior team meeting around ‘what are some of the changes in technology?’” Amazon’s vice president of product Charlie Tritschler told CNBC’s Todd Haselton. “And we talked about AI and processors getting more powerful and inevitably robotics came up. And one of the discussions was: ‘Does anyone here in this meeting think that in 5-10 years there won’t be more robots in your home?’ And everyone was like ‘well yeah, of course.’ It’s like, well then let’s going.”

In an effort to address privacy concerns, Amazon assured users that Astro’s camera, microphone and motion sensors can all be turned off with the press of a button. Astro can also be programmed to understand “out of bounds zones,” or rooms that are off-limits.