AN internet user has claimed they caught their husband cheating on them by listening to secret recordings stored on the couple's Amazon Echo speaker.
Sharing her story on Reddit, user beckystone1991 said she was scouring through Echo recordings linked to her Amazon account when she realised one of them featured the groans of her husband romping with another woman.
"Becky", who claimed to be 32 years old, said she parented a six-month-old baby with the man, who she did not name.
She said she originally found out about the affair ten months ago but her husband had claimed it was a brief fling.
Alleged audio clips found more recently on her Echo device, which make recordings as users speak to them, proved the sordid affair was still going.
"Long and short of it is he had a brief emotional affair with a woman at work (or so he said)," Becky wrote on the r/Divorce forum, a subreddit for people who are going through or have recently divorced.
"Found out today it’s been going on the whole time he has been stringing me along and getting me to fight for our family."
Becky claimed her suspicious were aroused when she spotted an Alexa recording on her Amazon account that she did not recognise.
Apparently, the device recorded seven seconds of audio following the request – just enough time to hear her husband and the mystery woman bonking.
"I found out because I bought a new amazon Alexa and while setting it up realised his is linked via our family prime account," she wrote.
"Found in the history ‘Alexa play beautiful loves songs’ followed by the sound of them having sex.
"It’s such a relief to know it’s all done. And he is a disgusting excuse for a husband and father," she added.
"No more fighting for a family he ruined ten months ago."
It's not the first time Amazon has been caught recording people in the throes of passion.
Last year, a Sun investigation found that Amazon staff could listen to Alexa recordings of couples rowing, discussing private family matters — and having sex.
The sounds of lovemaking are among noises that can trigger Alexa-activated Echo speakers, which make recordings as users speak to them.
Amazon staff listen to a proportion of the recordings in order to monitor and improve the system.
The Sun discovered an English-speaking Amazon team in Bucharest, Romania, monitors thousands of Alexa recordings — and has heard private moments including family rows, money and health discussions — and couples having sex.
A 28-year-old female former analyst there said: "It’s been said that couples having sex and even what sounded like a sex attack have been heard by staff.
Turning the microphone off – is it just too hard?
Here's what cyber-expert Tim Mackey, of Synopsys, told The Sun…
- "While users of voice activated devices appreciate the convenience they provide, those same users rarely think of the potential security issues associated with persistent recordings.
- "This is due in large part to the convenience factor provided by the devices.
- "Assuming a device has a manual off switch for its microphone, that will only be effective protection for voice recordings, but will require the user to manually enable the microphone as required.
- "Eventually the self-imposed usability speed bump will become sufficiently inconvenient with the result the microphone remains on indefinitely."
"There were times when I heard couples arguing at home and another when kids were trying to teach Alexa to swear.
"We were told to focus on Alexa commands but it was impossible not to hear other things going on."
Amazon said it had "strict technical and operational safeguards in place to protect customer privacy" and that human reviewers of the recordings "do not receive information that can identify customers".
Echo owners can delete voice recordings associated with their account at any time and switch off human reviews of such recordings by heading to Alexa Privacy settings on Amazon or in the Alexa app.
In other news, experts warned this week that turning Amazon Alexa off is pointless because "your entire home is spying on you".
A terrified mum says her Amazon Echo speaker urged her to kill herself.
And Amazon recently launched an Alexa ring and a smart oven.
Do you trust Amazon to protect your privacy? Let us know in the comments!
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