Expert Warns Against Keeping Your Amazon Echo In The Bedroom
A privacy expert has warned against allowing Alexa into the bedroom.
Dr Hannah Fry, who was the first female mathematician to deliver a Christmas lecture at the Royal Institution, has spoken out against having your smart device - more specifically an Amazon Echo - in anywhere but the downstairs rooms of your house.
The 35-year-old explained why she thinks that families should follow her example by not allowing Alexa to hear too much of your personal business.
Maybe just confine her to the kitchen, eh?
It's been speculated on for ages that Amazon might be eavesdropping on your house via the devices.
To be fair, you did buy a device that listens to your every command and set it up in the house to do just that.
Whistle-blowers suggested earlier this year that Amazon might have been tapping into conversations across Britain in order to check that the devices were working properly.
In that time, they allegedly heard a woman singing to herself in the shower, and someone reading out their confidential bank details.
That's not ideal, is it?
There are around two million houses in the UK with an Amazon device, but Dr Fry warned against the creeping acceptance to allow such devices into our personal and private lives.
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She said: "I think there are some spaces in your home, like the bedroom and bathroom, which should remain completely private.
"This technology is activated by a trigger word [such as 'Alexa'] but it keeps recording for a short period afterwards. People accept that, but we should all spend more time thinking about what it means for us."
While Amazon has denied spying on ordinary folks through the devices, it has been revealed that there are workers in places like Costa Rica, Romania, and India who have been listening to as many as 1,000 audio clips each day.
That's another person, listening to stuff in your house. Weird, no?
After asking the technology companies to provide all data they'd collected on her, Dr Fry was furnished with recordings of normal, everyday conversations that had taken place in her house.
She added: "There are people who are very senior in the tech world who will not have so much as a smartphone in their bedroom.
"If a company is offering you a device with an internet-connected microphone at a low price, you have to think about that very carefully.
"I have both an Alexa and a Google voice-activated device and I regularly turn them both off. People really must set their own limits."
There you have it. It's fine to own such a device - just think about how you use it, and how much you let it know.
Featured Image Credit: PA