We’ve all heard the urban legend that there’s some secret shady organization watching us at all times. And some sound plausible, while some sound like they’re straight out of a cheesy spi movie.
Some say we’re watched through webcams and phone cameras.
Some say the governments keep track of every bit of internet history and search that we make.
Some even say that pigeons aren’t even real, they’re just mobile cameras the government uses to spy on us without drawing suspicion.
The surveillance theory is so prominent, there’s an internet meme that everyone has their own FBI agent that watches them through their webcam.
And while all of the jokes and whatnot are fun to laugh at, some people have genuine concerns about certain devices, like Amazon’s Alexa device.
Can Amazon track us with Alexa? Let’s find out.
Amazon Has An Ear In Your Home
As we move towards a more tech-savvy future where everything is sleek, techy, and super convenient, we’ve seen a rise in the usage of smart devices that are designed to act as a personal assistant.
Ever picked up your iPhone and said, “Hey Siri?”?
That’s one of them.
Ever talked to one of your Amazon devices and said the magic words, “Hey Alexa.”?
That’s definitely one of the main offenders.
Whereas the surveillance concept sounds like something that would only happen in movies, or for people of interest that powerful people would want to keep an eye on, with Amazon, everyone is subject to their nosiness.
How it does it is in a way that sounds like a simple and fair trade, and even an honest one, but that doesn’t stop things from getting a little spooky.
If you’re going to shop via Amazon, you are entering an agreement where Amazon can keep track of your shopping history, your tastes, as well as your location. Makes sense, considering that it needs to know what you’re ordering and where you’re shipping it to.
They’re always trying to keep track of your shopping, and whether it’s through you willingly giving it up via your inputs into the service, or indirectly through listening, they’re getting that info one way or the other.
Google and Facebook are two of the biggest contributors to the legend of big tech spying on the common people, yet if you ask them, they’ll readily deny it.
Amazon on the other hand is far more brazen, openly admitting that they’ll be nosy and listen to whatever you’re saying as long as you say the magic word, “Alexa.”.
Well, if that’s all it takes for them to say it, maybe if we just avoid saying it when we don’t want to use Alexa, we have nothing to worry about, right?
Wrong, because there have been countless reports, as well as tests that have shown that even when Alexa hasn’t been said, your conversations can be recorded.
From random bursts of rage and toxicity at my opponent in an online game, to random barking from my dog as it flinches at his shadow, to arguments over how to cook rice the best way, Alexa can and will record these without being prompted.
What To Do About It
If you go to the Alexa app in your smartphone and check over the settings, you can take a look at just how much Alexa records.
You can delete whichever recordings you don’t want stored, or even have Alexa do it by saying, “Alexa, delete everything I’ve said today.”