Shocking: Amazon Workers Are Listening to What You Tell Alexa

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by dgz, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. dgz

    dgz [H]ardness Supreme

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    In a news that shouldn't surprise anyone, Amazon has admitted that employees review "small sample" of Alexa audio.

    Of course, Amzn is not alone in this
    And that's just the big guys. So, go ahead and buy MORE Telescreens* for you house.

    The contents of Bloomberg's article shouldn't surprise anyone, nor should anyone panic. At least someone is listening to what some of us have to say. So what if it's an corporation free of any morals.

    * May not be called that way in your region.
     
  2. gwarren007

    gwarren007 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    no thanks, don't need any of that crap...
     
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  3. dgz

    dgz [H]ardness Supreme

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    Anyone want to guess how long until such devices will be mandatory in each and every home*? Cause I am thinking it won't be that long. Give it a generation, or two.

    * exemptions may apply for special cases like important / rich people and such
     
  4. termite

    termite [H]ardness Supreme

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    Haha.

    Of course they do. Does anyone really think that there is even a microscopic chance having an always on listening device in your home offers any privacy?

    Why they do it makes perfect sense though, and is probably the best way to improve the service.

    I'd like to think that even the most enthusiastic smart speaker user already know and expects this.
     
  5. Ocellaris

    Ocellaris Ginger @le, an alcoholic's best friend.

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    No shit they listen to it, they need to figure out some of the completely fucked responses it gives to simple requests.
     
  6. sirmonkey1985

    sirmonkey1985 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010

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    yup not surprised, as long as direct names/user information isn't available to the same people listen then it's what ever, just a people listening to other people talk.. no different then the dumb asses on their cell phones on public transit. that being said i hope they enjoy listening to all the random ass shit we put into my friends amazon cart when we're at his house drinking. :p

    yeah some of the responses it gives are mind boggling. speech recognition as a whole still has a long ways to go that's for sure.
     
  7. CombatChrisNC

    CombatChrisNC [H]ard|Gawd

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    latest?cb=20181210071645.jpg

    It really doesn't bother me since all the PII is stripped out.

    Unless of course they're lying about that.
     
  8. gdonovan

    gdonovan [H]ard|Gawd

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    Proven right, again.

    Nothing with a mic connected to a network is allowed in my house, period.

    If they can spy on you they will.
     
  9. kaigame

    kaigame n00b

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    So no phones of any kind in your house then?
     
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  10. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    "the audio is distorted"

    Bullshit, how do you train a software based on voice recognition with distorted audio.
     
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  11. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] Admin Staff Member

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  12. Dr. Righteous

    Dr. Righteous 2[H]4U

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    Hope you all feel like a frog that is being slowly boiled.
    Their goal is to make the surveillance state is "Meh, no big deal" to most people while the thought police make sure you repeat the party line.
     
  13. Zumino Zufeilon

    Zumino Zufeilon Gawd

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  14. MaZa

    MaZa 2[H]4U

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    And this is why I disable voice commands in every device that has them, if possible. Not only do I not nees them, they are a clear privacy risk. I do not give two shits if they are stored in "personally unidentifiable" form, if it has my voice clear as day then it is recognisable enough and therefore identifiable to someone somewhere.
     
  15. lostin3d

    lostin3d [H]ard|Gawd

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    My wife often complains of that. I guess I should buy her one of these.
     
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  16. Jagger100

    Jagger100 [H]ardness Supreme

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    You can tag things that were misheard. Anything to suggest this is outside of those items? Or is the more FUD from people who are afraid of the listening device that talks back over the ones that sit quietly so you forget they are there and are listening 24/7, tracking your location, and squealing on your browsing habbits.
     
  17. NickJames

    NickJames [H]ardness Supreme

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    K? Is the FBI going to come in and arrest my illegal pizza gathering ring? I'm all about privacy but some people go a bit overboard thinking they live the life of Vladimir Putin.
     
  18. DejaWiz

    DejaWiz Oracle of Unfortunate Truths

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    Well no kidding!


    Hey_Wiretap_Make_Me_Pancakes.jpg
     
  19. Retronym

    Retronym Something big is coming.

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    I mean, it's a microphone.
     
  20. Ur_Mom

    Ur_Mom I'm Not Serious

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    I'm not surprised. It's a voice assistant. Every product has QA and tries to improve. How can you improve this? By using the data collected and make it better at what it does. One issue is that it mis-hears people, and the fix for that is to find what was said, what was heard and how it was interpreted. I do wonder what people think happened when it came to QA and improving this stuff? This is pretty much how I expected it was happening. If you're good enough with having a device in your home that listens 24/7 and has a connection back to these massive companies, you probably understand that your data is out there. The big thing is how much do you trust the company that supports it. Are they really sanitizing and keeping it anonymous? No PII included?

    These are devices for convenience. Nothing more. You trade in privacy for convenience. Some are ok with that, others aren't. However, there is a line that is different for everyone that can be crossed by these companies. How much are privacy are you willing to give up? It has nothing to do with "if you have nothing to hide...", because with some of the laws coming out across the country soon you will have something to hide (simple laws creating criminals). FBI trying to force Apple to unlock a phone, another agency gathering information from Amazon, Google giving up their data, going after VPN's, etc.. At some point, Alexa and other voice assistant data will be available for others. They'll have a unique profile for each user with voice samples.

    I'm no Putin, nor do I have a pizza smuggling ring (sounds fun, though!), but this could go badly in the future. As of now, I'm fine. If I want to talk about anything private, I have places that are microphone free. I've read a lot of those paranoid sci-fi books and stories when I was younger, and I have a negative opinion on some things. But, I'll use them until my level of trust is lower. Privacy vs. convenience. Most things that I say in front of Alexa, I would be fine saying in a public space. I'm not dependent on Alexa but I use the services pretty often. I'd guess that my browsing habits, search history, online profile is much deeper when it comes to information gathering than Alexa, anyway. All the posts on these forums have a ton more information about me than Alexa does. The internet has a lot of my opinions, some against the hive mind of various sites. It's not difficult to create a profile on me that is much better than Amazon has.

    I am not a Luddite, and Alexa is probably the least of my worries when it comes to privacy.
     
  21. Grimlaking

    Grimlaking 2[H]4U

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    You know we didn't have Alexa devices in my home until a couple weeks ago. I bought two of the Alexa things.. (the tall ones but not the enhanced audio ones.) One for my office and one for our bedroom where my wife normally is.

    Now instead of her yelling up the stairs or you know stopping her damn phone game to talk to me. She can just have Alexa drop in to my office and we can talk.

    It's gone a long way to making things more peaceful.

    And THAT is worth my privacy a bit. Sadly?
     
  22. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    I mostly tell my Alexa to shut up as the device sometimes responds to things that weren't directed at it.
     
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  23. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    Sometimes she just rambles on and almost makes me throw it out the window lol.
     
  24. GoodBoy

    GoodBoy [H]ard|Gawd

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    Lol.. does that actually work?
     
  25. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

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    A walkie talkie or intercom would suffice without needing a network, data grabbing, privacy invasion ...
    They are not new tech!
     
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  26. Dullard

    Dullard 2[H]4U

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    Who knew - having a hot mic in your house connected to a far away server might not be a good idea.
     
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  27. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    Walkie talkies are not secure.

    We haven't had privacy in a long time, didn't you ever pick up someones cordless phone on a baby monitor before? Only got one half of the conversation but still was fun to listen in on the neighbors as kids.
     
  28. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

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    A wired intercom is not susceptible.
    Secure 2way radios arent expensive either.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
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  29. CAD4466HK

    CAD4466HK [H]ard|Gawd

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    Reminds me of the Furby my daughter had while growing up.
     
  30. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    Encrypted radios require licensing. So a bit more work involved.
     
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  31. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    My sister had one of those growing up, used to trigger it with a laser pen when she was asleep lol
     
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  32. snowcrash

    snowcrash Gawd

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    Good thing it doesn’t bother me at all. I’ll happily continue to buy and use tech gadgets that catches my fancy. Takes a lot more to trigger my paranoia.

    I’ll file this under the “Duh...of course they are listening. It’s how a company can improve its voice product lines. Or no s—- Sherlock.”
     
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  33. Cranky1970

    Cranky1970 [H]Lite

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    Fuck all that BS.....
     
  34. Dr. Righteous

    Dr. Righteous 2[H]4U

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    Right, and everyone in government denied that the NSA was building a huge data center in the mid west to log all phone conversations. Tinfoil hat stuff right? Until it turned out to be true. Now things like Alexia, Suri, etc are becoming all to common place; home appliances, like a toaster. Meh, no big deal.
    But how easily could comments you make in private become public or get to the ears of someone you don't want to hear them; like your employer.
     
  35. doz

    doz [H]ardness Supreme

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    That is what's scary. People of all race, sex, rich, poor, haves and have nots are getting busted for what they say these days. It is getting to the point where you cannot say anything or have an opinion on anything in private or else your job, career, scholarship, endorsements, ect. may be lost. Just wait till it is more common practice to hack Alexa and the like and people cannot even hold private conversations for fear of being blackmailed for the information.

    Look at the politicians who have stepped down over something "racist" they said when they were young. And technology was hardly what it is today 20 years ago.......

    Not only that, on the FBI/NSA/Government side of it, what about privacy? Are we not allowed to have privacy? Some argue if you are doing something illegal you should be in trouble. Imagine the users on this forum talking privately about whatever it may be and the Feds listen in and find out about the illegal activity. Next thing you know, they are pulling evidence out of their ass to obtain a search warrant and you are busted...... And for what? That bump stock you said got dumped in the lake? Something so simple can ruin peoples lives.
     
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  36. gdonovan

    gdonovan [H]ard|Gawd

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    Phones sit out in mud porch, land line was pulled 2 months ago.
     
  37. Design1stcode2nd

    Design1stcode2nd Gawd

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    They have these buttons on top that mute the microphone....
     
  38. Grimlaking

    Grimlaking 2[H]4U

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    Begin count down for snide remark like "I bet those don't work."
     
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  39. BB Gun

    BB Gun [H]ard|Gawd

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    Meh, we are already carrying around listening devices on us every day. Unless you don't use a smartphone, this horse left the barn a long time ago.

    I've lost count, now, of the number of times I've been talking about something for which I have not done any kind of search or textual reference from a keyboard that BAM, shows up in ads in my web browser on the phone and/or PC.
     
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  40. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    The other day we just had that at our house. Wife was googling something at her pc at work. And MY facebook ads included that item. We do not share accounts or emails.