Remember when a couple of weeks ago we learned that there were humans monitoring conversations with Alexa? Well, we have more bad news about the microphone that is always on and that we have all invited to our homes. Amazon employees can "easily" discover the physical address of any user.
This latest report has been provided by a group of anonymous Amazon employees who decided to talk to Bloomberg News about this distressing situation:
Team members with access to the geographical coordinates of Alexa users can easily write them into a third-party map software and see where a user's home is located, according to employees, who signed non-disclosure agreements that prevent them from doing so. speak publicly about the program.
Bloomberg has made it clear that there has been no report of any employee or worker of Amazon who has abused this power and who has searched the homes of users. But they say that this function of backend it gives employees "unnecessarily extensive access to customer data".
Amazon does not deny that its employees can easily locate users, but it minimizes the importance of this discovery.
"Access to internal tools is highly controlled and is only granted to a limited number of employees who need these tools to train and improve the service by processing an extremely small sample of interactions," an Amazon spokesperson told Gizmodo. email.
Where is the problem? Amazon has not specified what that "limited number" of employees is. According to Bloomberg, they could be thousands.
"Our policies strictly prohibit access or use of customer data by employees for any other reason, and we have a zero tolerance policy against this type of abuse in our systems," the spokesperson continued. "We regularly audit employee access to internal tools and limit access whenever possible."
But somehow this becomes even worse. Bloomberg spoke with an Amazon employee who said the backend from Amazon also showed the phone numbers of the users. That characteristic has supposedly been disconnected, but who knows what else is happening there? Alexa users clearly do not.
Alexa's technology is really one of the best products of our era. It's easy, it's useful, and it's a nightmare for privacy that serves as a constant reminder of the fact that we live in a technological dystopia that we ourselves have created. If you still have an Alexa or any other virtual assistant in your home, be warned. If you have not already thrown your Echo into the sea, it's up to you. Because Silicon Valley clearly has no intention of worrying about your privacy.