Alexa spying fears as Echo ‘records woman’s private conversation then sends it to friend’

Rob Waugh
The smart speaker from Amazon powered by Alexa voice assistant (Getty)

Amazon’s ubiquitous Echo devices hit headlines this year for emitting ‘evil’ and ‘witch-like’ laughs and refusing to obey their owners.

But a rogue Echo has just done something even more alarming – it secretly recorded a woman’s conversation and sent it to one of her friends.

The woman, named only as Danielle, told Portland radio station KIRO 7, that she received a call from a friend warning her she had been ‘hacked’.

The device had recorded and transmitted a whole private conversation – thankfully, just one about hardwood floors.


Danielle said, ‘’We unplugged all of them and he proceeded to tell us that he had received audio files of recordings from inside our house.

‘I felt invaded. Immediately I said, “I’m never plugging that device in again, because I can’t trust it.’

Amazon said that the device appeared to have switched on by accident and transmitted a voice message, saying it was a ‘rare occurrence’.

A spokesman said, ‘Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like “Alexa”. Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a “send message” request’

‘At which point, Alexa said out loud “To whom?”‘

‘At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customers contact list’