How much data does Amazon have on you?
One user emailed Amazon asking for all the personal data the company had stored on him. In return, this user received an email link from the ecommerce giant with more than one thousand Alexa recordings made by a completely different customer.
According to the German publication c’t, as reported by , the user who made the request for his data received an email from Amazon with a link to a 100MB zip file containing 1,700 audio files recorded by the company’s voice assistant, Alexa.
The user didn’t receive a reply from Amazon when he first informed them of receiving access to another customer’s recordings. The files were deleted from the link by Amazon but the user had already downloaded them. The unidentified man who was sent the audio recordings had never before used Alexa, according to a .
The man heard on the audio files was identifiable through the information on the Alexa recordings and contacted by the German magazine.
Its unclear if the individual whose privacy was breached was even aware that such recordings of himself existed.
Once Alexa-enabled devices like the Amazon Echo hear their “wake word,” they record every voice request a user makes and stores them on the company’s servers. Users have the option to delete these audio recordings from the cloud in their account settings. If the files are not deleted, under GDRP rules in Europe, users are able to request a all this data in a downloadable format.
“This was an unfortunate case of human error and an isolated incident,” Amazon said in a statement sent to Mashable. “We have resolved the issue with the two customers involved and have taken steps to further improve our processes. We were also in touch on a precautionary basis with the relevant regulatory authorities.”