Aug 6, 2019

Amazon Alexa: Luxembourg watchdog in discussions about recordings

Luxembourg's data privacy watchdog says it is in discussions with Amazon about voice recordings made of customers who have used the firm's Alexa smart assistant. Concern about Alexa recordings came to light in April after the news agency Bloomberg spoke to staff who had transcribed clips for the firm. In June, Amazon's Alexa chief Dave Limp told the BBC that only a fraction of 1% of Alexa recordings were checked by humans. "The voice recordings from customers who use this opt-out are also excluded from our supervised learning workflows that involve manual review of an extremely small sample of Alexa requests. We'll also be updating information we provide to customers to make our practices more clear," it said in a statement. Last week, Apple revealed it had also halted all human review of recordings made via its Siri virtual assistant, while Google said it had suspended similar checks made of audio captured via its Assistant across the EU. The lead supervisory authority for these two companies is Ireland's data watchdog.

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