An “unlikely” string of events prompted Amazon’s Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family’s private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle, the company said Thursday.
The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an employee of her husband contacted them to say he thought their device had been hacked. He told them he had received an audio file of them discussing hardwood floors, she said.
In a statement Thursday, Amazon confirmed the woman’s private conversation had been inadvertently recorded and sent. The company said the device interpreted a word in the background conversation as “Alexa” — a command that makes it wake up — and then it interpreted the conversation as a “send message” request.