Amazon Gives Access To 1,700 Alexa Audio Home Files To The Wrong Guy

Amazon’s Alexa has been caught eavesdropping again.

When a German Amazon customer requested his archived data to review, he received a link to 1,700 Alexa audio files that belonged to a complete stranger.

The files provided much of the same kind of recorded information that would likely be collected by a bug planted in someone’s house. A man could be heard speaking throughout his home — even in the shower — and occasionally a woman’s voice was also picked up, NPR reported.

According to German magazine c*t, which was given access to the files by the German Amazon customer, Alexa also recorded general comments concerning day-to-day life and work as well as music and alarm commands and questions about the weather.

“Suddenly, we found ourselves in the intimate sphere of strangers without their knowledge,” a representative for c*t said.

The magazine used the audio to determine the identity of the man Alexa recorded and contacted him. He said Amazon had not reached out to tell him that his files had been compromised.

An Amazon spokesman called the incident an “unfortunate case,” per Reuters. It was the “result of human error and an isolated single case.”

“We resolved the issue with the two customers involved and took measures to further optimize our processes,” the spokesman added. 

Amazon restricted access to the audio files, but by then, the German Amazon customer had already downloaded all of them.

Others have reported similar cases of creepy eavesdropping by virtual assistants. Earlier this year, an Oregon couple discovered that an Amazon Echo had recorded the husband’s conversations and sent them to one of his workers.