Alexa taken to task on eavesdropping

Luxembourg’s data privacy agency is asking Amazon for information on the voice recordings made of customers using the company’s Alexa smart assistant. That’s no small thing – the grand duchy’s National Data Protection Commission is the head regulator for Amazon in the EU because the online giant is based in the market.

The move is believed to relate to Amazon workers listening in to Alexa voice recordings. Both Apple and Google recently halted the practice of reviewing recordings.

Amazon has now begun offering Alexa users the option to disable the review of their recordings via the Alexa smartphone app. However, the company says that, unlike Apple and Google, it will continue to use human review process with a view to making improvements to the Alexa service.

A US civil liberties advocacy group, Fight for the Future, has initiated a campaign to put pressure on municipalities to stay out of tie-ups with Amazon-owned home surveillance company Ring.

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