amazon
The Bright Side of Humans Eavesdropping on Your Alexa Recordings

Over the past few months, a waterfall of details about how companies handle voice recordings has poured into the news. First, there was news that Amazon hired thousands of contractors to review Alexa commands. Apple and Google were doing the same thing with their voice assistants. Then, more recently, we learned that Facebook and Microsoft had humans transcribing their users’ messages and phone calls. All of this has been a real nightmare for people who care about their privacy. Read More >>

microsoft
Microsoft Confirms Your Cortana and Skype Recordings Aren’t Private Either, Surprising No One

At this point, if you don’t want strangers to listen to recordings from your devices, it’s looking like you may just have to go off the grid. On Thursday, Microsoft became the latest tech giant to admit it uses human contractors to review its users’ audio. So in case you’ve lost track by now, that list also includes Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon Adds Option to Keep Contractors From Eavesdropping on Your Alexa Requests

Alexa users who don’t want their recordings reviewed by third-party contractors finally have an option to opt-out thanks to a new Amazon policy implemented amid mounting criticism against the company and its voice assistant competitors, Apple and Google. Read More >>

privacy
Amazon Really Doesn’t Care, Huh?

Apple and Google recently revealed that they have temporarily stopped letting contractors listen to recordings from their voice assistants. The announcements come after reports that some of these hired hands heard Siri users doing things like having sex or discussing private medical information. Amazon has not announced a pause in its process of letting humans listen to Alexa recordings, and that’s not a big surprise. Humans are bound to be a part of this process. Read More >>

amazon
Are You Ready For an Alexa Robot to Follow You Around?

Just in case you wanted a robot butler to follow you around the house, Amazon is reportedly working on an Alexa bot with wheels that can be summoned via voice commands. Read More >>

amazon
Alexa Starts Trawling NHS Web Sites to Give Health Answers

News that the NHS is collaborating with Amazon won't go down with the security-minded sectors of society today, although obviously Amazon says any weird health questions you say out loud to your little speaker friend will remain confidential. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon Confirms It Keeps Alexa Transcripts You Can’t Delete

Next time you use Amazon Alexa to message a friend or order a pizza, know that the recording could be stored indefinitely, even if you ask to delete it. Read More >>

technology
The New Service Wars Are Here to Suck Your Wallet Dry

Canon versus Nikon. Dell versus HP. Microsoft versus Apple. Tech companies have been battling over their piece of the pie for years, that isn't new. But recently, tech and non-tech companies alike have started changing up their business models so that instead of simply selling you a device and calling it a day, companies would rather sell you an ongoing subscription for the product you want, complete with a recurring monthly payment. Welcome to the Service Wars. Read More >>

alexa
Lawsuits Claim Amazon’s Alexa Voice Assistant Illegally Records Children Without Consent

In the US, a pair of federal lawsuits against Amazon seeking class action status allege that the e-commerce giant’s Alexa voice assistant technology “routinely records and voiceprints millions of children without their consent or the consent of their parents,” breaking laws in nine states, the Seattle Times reported on Wednesday. Read More >>

amazon echo
Alexa-Enabled Devices Get Fancy New Call Features Thanks to Vodafone and Amazon

If you have an Amazon Echo device you can now use it to make phone calls at those times you just can't be arsed to find your phone or use your hands to pick it up. Read More >>

amazon
Alexa’s Sneaky Fine Print Could Prevent Millions From Suing Amazon for Anything

Let’s say you purchased a pencil case for your kid on Amazon.com. But it turns out it contains lead that’s way over the federal legal limit, and your kid gets sick as a result. You liked Amazon, used it frequently to buy products and even own an Amazon Echo. But now you want to sue the company. There’s just one problem. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon Attempts to Improve Alexa Privacy, Hilariously Fails

There’s a new Echo in town. The Echo Show 5 is a smart display with a 5.5-inch screen scheduled for a 26 June release, and it’s the first Echo device with a physical shutter to cover the onboard camera. With this release, Amazon is making some changes to how all Echos treat Alexa privacy settings. Users will now have the ability to tell Alexa to delete the current day’s recordings. Which sounds good at face value, but the proposition is more complicated than that. Read More >>

alexa
Amazon Patent Reveals Its Vision for an Alexa Device That Records Every Word You Speak

If you’re already freaked out by the privacy implications of smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo, we have some bad news. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon Is Getting Closer to Building a Wearable That Knows When You’re Depressed

It looks like Amazon is working on a new Alexa-powered gadget that can listen to you and decide how you feel, and make recommendations based on your human emotions. Citing internal documents and an unnamed source, Bloomberg reports that the company has designed a device that you wear like a wristwatch and beta testing is apparently underway. “Eventually the technology could be able to advise the wearer how to interact more effectively with others,” reads the report. Read More >>

privacy
‘Private Post’ Means Something Slightly Different to Facebook

When you privately share something to a specific group of friends on Facebook, there’s a chance other people will read it. Reuters reports that Facebook employs a couple hundred contractors to read all Facebook posts, including the private ones, in order to train the company’s software. There’s no way to opt out of this. Read More >>