There are a couple of things that need to be cleared up before we get going here. This is a story that someone shared on TikTok, so take that for what you will! However, the alleged findings confirm some of the fears that people have had about Amazon products for years. Mainly, if this story is true it would actually confirm that in fact your Amazon devices are spying on you. The worse part about this is they may be doing so legally since you accepted their terms and conditions without reading a single line!
Here’s The Story
A woman whose username is my.data.not.yours on TikTok has been making clips of safety issues and primarily how to protect your personal data from the companies and/or sites that people use on a regular basis. Her video on the information that Amazon collects from their users is perhaps the most cringe worthy. She mentions in the video that she requested this information from Amazon. What she got was a ton of files filled with information that her Amazon devices had collected.
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What Type of Information Was On Those Files?
There were actually all sorts of files in the zip folder that she got from Amazon. The most concerning being a wide array of audio files that actually play back to her the voice commands that she had given the device. She plays a file in the video that literally is her voice telling Alexa to turn on a light. From what she implies in the video all of the files that she shows have similar content. There’s no real clarity from Amazon as to why the device would collect these files. Maybe it’s just to feed their voice recognition software.
Jeff Bezos Knows Exactly Where You Live
Other than the creepy voice files there’s also a folder that includes all of the geolocation information from her devices. As she herself mentions this isn’t necessarily something that was surprising. Still coming to the realization that someone at Amazon could track down your location thanks to your Echo Dot is not an empowering feeling. She also mentioned that there was a whole contact list as part of the data. Even though she never put that information on the device herself!
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This Isn’t The First Time These Types of Concerns Have Been Raised
Ethical issues with the way that Amazon collects data have been at the forefront of the conversation for people in the tech community for years. At this point though it seems that there are a ton of people who’ve just sold their soul to Amazon and there’s no way back. Even people within or that were within Amazon at one point have declared that they are uncomfortable with the breach in privacy that Alexa devices provide. Robert Frederick who was one of the key people in Amazon Web Services told Frontline in 2020 that he turns off his Alexa device when he’s having private conversations. If he was involved in making it, and he’s scared of it, other people probably should be too!