Amazon simply despatched 1,700 personal Alexa recordings to the flawed individual


The man, who reportedly isn't an Alexa user himself, got in touch with Amazon to notify it about the mishap but never received a response.

He pointed out the mistake to Amazon, who then deleted the download link to the files, although it did not reply directly to his message.

When the customer that sent the information request to Amazon received his data via Zip file a few weeks later, he could not identify the person in the recordings. The man gave his recordings to C't magazine, which was able to contact the person who had their information leaked.

"We resolved the issue with the 2 customers involved and took measures to further optimize our processes".

The company also told Reuters that it had contacted "the relevant authorities" as a "precautionary measures".

The story was first reported by technlogy magazine C't in Germany.

Amazon Alexa is again in news, this time for sending thousands of recording of a user to a stranger.

More news: Judge Rules Harvey Weinstein Must Face Remaining Rape Charges

End users of digital assistants should be aware that anything said in the vicinity of their devices can and will get uploaded to remote servers when they are active.

According to German trade publication c't, an Alexa user in the country was able to access recordings picked up by an Echo device that wasn't his. When he unzipped the files, he discovered that the folder not only had information pertaining to his everyday Amazon searches but it also had around 1,700 WAV files and a PDF which contained transcripts of Alexa's interpretation of voice commands.

A man in Germany is said to have been sent the files after he requested to review his Amazon data in accordance with a European Union data protection law.

Imagine if you had Amazon Alexa-enabled speakers all over your house.

Eventually, using weather queries, public transport inquiries, alarms, and even Spotify commands, the reporters zeroed in on the guy. The hack comes as the company works night-and-day on operations making artificial intelligence better at handling complex human interactions.

Reports from other research firms earlier this year suggested Google was shipping more of its Home units than Amazon was shipping Echo units, and that Amazon's market share already had dipped below 50%.

"This was an unfortunate case of human error and an isolated incident", an Amazon representative told Business Insider.