Amazon hires workers to listen to Alexa conversations

The company says it keeps sensitive information private

Amazon hires workers to listen to Alexa conversations
Amazon did not confirm what kind of content workers come across when listening but said only a 'small number' of interactions are used from a 'random set of customers. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - Amazon workers are all-ears - Literally.

The company told CNN it hires people to listen to what users say to Alexa.

Bloomberg said in a report that thousands of people do this as full-time employees and contractors all over the world.

The report also said the popular virtual assistant's always-listening microphone has possibly captured some illegal content.

Amazon did not confirm what kind of content workers come across when listening but said only a 'small number' of interactions are used from a 'random set of customers.'

A spokesperson said the workers do not have direct access to sensitive information like a user's name or address.

Amazon's website lists in the frequently asked questions section that Alexa requests can be used for speech recognition training.

There's also an opt out option available in the settings section of the Alexa app where users can delete their saved recordings.

This is not the first time Alexa has been called out for privacy concerns.

Last year, a user said a file of a conversation recorded without their knowledge was sent to an Amazon employee.

Amazon confirmed the error and said the message was sent after Alexa misheard a string of words.

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