A new report in Bloomberg indicates that some Amazon employees who listen to Amazon Alexa requests can use GPS coordinates to figure out your home address. Leveraging third-party mapping software, the process was demonstrated to Bloomberg by putting in the longitude and latitude coordinates into the software that they collect from Amazon servers.
This news comes on the heals of the initial report from Bloomberg last month that indicated employees could listen to Alexa requests along with private recordings, some of which could be disturbing or criminal. Further, the initial report indicated that employees tended to share these recordings in group chats at work. This new report means, in theory, could map a recording to GPS coordinates and figure out who made the recording. That, in the wrong hands, could have significant implications for privacy and safety.
Amazon responded to the report with the following statement:
Amazon said “access to internal tools is highly controlled, and is only granted to a limited number of employees who require these tools to train and improve the service by processing an extremely small sample of interactions. Our policies strictly prohibit employee access to or use of customer data for any other reason, and we have a zero tolerance policy for abuse of our systems. We regularly audit employee access to internal tools and limit access whenever and wherever possible.”Amazon Statement
If you are an Amazon Alexa user, it is recommended that you enable all of the privacy functions available to you. Or it may be time to switch to Siri and the Apple HomePod.