An Amazon Alexa user in Germany received the Alexa audio recordings of a stranger, according to Reuters. The customer requested their own Alexa recordings from Amazon, as part of the EU’s GDPR guidelines, but the download link they received was to 1,700 audio recordings of a stranger’s Alexa interactions. Amazon says the mix-up was a result of human error and an isolated single case.
Amazon initially didn’t respond to the customer when he reported the mistake. Amazon eventually removed access to the files, but not before they were downloaded and shared with a local news publication who was able to identify a man and a woman heard speaking in the recordings. Amazon says “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.”
Alexa devices, include Fire TVs, store audio recordings in the cloud when they hear their wake word or when the microphone button is pressed. Customers may access their own voice recordings at any time. If the thought of your Alexa audio requests sitting on a server is unsettling, you should periodically go in and delete them.
To delete all of your Alexa audio history, visit amazon.com/alexaprivacy and sign in with your Amazon account. Select the “Review Voice History” link and then select “All History” from the date range drop-down menu. Lastly, click the “Delete All Recordings for All History” link and your recordings will be deleted.