After trying to access his own voice history by GDPR rules, an Alexa user in Germany suddenly found that he could listen to about 1700 voice recordings from a stranger via a link sent by Amazon. The company criticizes security snafu for human error.
“This was an unfortunate case of human error and an isolated event,” said an Amazon spokesman in a statement to TechCrunch. “We’ve solved the problem of the two affected customers and have taken steps to further improve our processes. We were also in touch with the precautionary principle with relevant regulatory authorities.”
A man and woman can be heard talking in the recordings, according to the report. A local publication that had access to the files could determine the user’s identity based on details from the recordings.
This is, of course, the kind of news Amazon hopes to avoid just before the holiday. Alexa devices have been major sellers in recent years, it’s not likely to slow down sometime soon. However, the increasing incidence of such connected devices still has fuel problems around these continuous recording devices (and, in some cases, film-creating) devices.