For some time now, many people have come to doubt if they can be spying on us through voice devices like Amazon's Alexa.
And yes, indeed, someone could be listening to the recordings you made with Alexa.
A Bloomberg report has detailed how Amazon employs thousands of full-time contractors and contractors around the world to listen to clips from the recordings made by users on the sales giant's voice devices.
According to Amazon, exactly what the employees do is listen to the recordings and transcribe them so that in this way Alexa is more "intelligent" and has a broader and colloquial word algorithm, depending on the region, especially if it is not spoken in it. English. This greatly improved Alexa's understanding of the voice.
In the month of January a report revealed that Amazon gave a large number of employees access to users' videos so that they could manually identify people and vehicles, this was done with the aim of improving the system's capacity to identify cars and visitors by themselves.
Amazon has people who transcribe audio in Costa Rica, India and Romania. The project also has workers based in Boston.
According to the Bloomberg report, employees who listen to the recordings can have access to confidential information even to recordings made by accident.
Amazon made it very clear to its employees that in case of hearing something that could generate a red alert in some sense, they simply could not interfere.
Amazon has admitted to the publication that it is employing human workers to record Alexa's voice recordings.
But an Amazon spokesperson also said that the recording segments that were heard were really very short and that there was no access to personal information or identification of said recordings saying:
"We take the security and privacy of our clients' personal information seriously, we only record an extremely small sample of Alexa voice recordings to improve the customer experience, for example, this information helps us to train our voice recognition and natural language, understanding the systems, so that Alexa can better understand their requests and ensure that the service works well for everyone. "
"We have strict technical and operational guarantees, and we have a zero tolerance policy for abuse of our system, employees do not have direct access to the information that can identify the person or the account as part of this workflow. Information is treated with high confidentiality and we use multi-factor authentication to restrict access, encryption of the service and audits of our control environment to protect it. "