A TikToker has taken it upon herself to save those who do not read the section. She looks through the tech products that are very popular and posts their privacy policies. She even scrutinizes them and highlights the parts that might be red flags.
The Amazon Data Can Be Freely Requested
@my.data.not.yours Reply to @ladyisabellemae #privacy #fyp #foryoupage #amazon #alexa #dataprivacy #bigtech #bigbrother #trending #bigdata #privacyrevolution #update ♬ Spongebob – Dante9k
This made the TikToker request a copy of her data. What she was sent shocked her. Amazon had more than 3,354 short audio clips from the times she talked with the devices that had Alexa. To further detail, she claimed that she owned 1 Echo and 2 Dots.
On her TikTok, she showed a huge folder that had every audio clip. Then she played a recording where she could be heard telling Alexa to switch on the lights. There was a more shocking discovery awaiting here. Amazon had the complete lists of the contacts on her phone. However, she could not remember ever synchronizing that date with Alexa. Finally, the folder also had data on her location.
A More Educative Video, Than Shocking Revelation
Since the video of her Amazon information was uploaded, the short TikTok has been watched more than 2.5Mn times and received more than 185,000 likes. Most users took the revelation humorously.
One comment said that this means Amazon also had all the clips of the user verbally assaulting their device when it failed to listen. Another said that this was hardly ‘scary’ because they did not have anything interesting enough that they would mind Amazon having in their audio or contacts. A third pointed out that this was done so that the user’s life could be simpler. Moreover, it is detailed in their terms and conditions which we agree to while setting up the device.
The TikToker has since written a guide about how others can ask for their data as well.
Even if 3,354 clips might sound like a large number, Echo devices have been programmed to detect only the wake word chosen by the user. No audio clips are sent or stored on the cloud until this wake word is detected by the device. Additionally, users can know when Alexa communicates with the cloud when an audio tune sounds or a blue light appears.
Users of Alexa are also reminded to review their privacy preferences a month after they set up the devices. Amazon also emails Alexa users every year that outlines available features and settings for privacy. As such, the story of the TikToker had nothing extraordinary. But this should be a reminder to spend some more time with the privacy policies.
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Feature Image Credits: @my.data.not.yours