AMAZON STAFF monitoring the firn's Alexa service can pinpoint your home address.
The Amazon Data Services team is charged with making manual improvements to Alexa to provide the best performance, but what nobody saw coming (though perhaps we should have) is the level of authorisation these people have.
In a demonstration, an anonymous Amazon employee demonstrated how, using the map coordinates provided by each Alexa device, they can instantly call up the physical address and even a Street View picture.
The news only came to light when two employees voiced their concerns to Bloomberg.
Amazon told the newspaper that: "employees do not have direct access to information that can identify the person or account as part of this workflow."
Yes, but that's hardly the point - a quick flip to Google Maps makes that argument completely null and void.
A second statement adds: "Access to internal tools is highly controlled and is only granted to a limited number of employees who require these tools to train and improve the service by processing an extremely small sample of interactions.
"Our policies strictly prohibit employee access to or use of customer data for any other reason, and we have a zero tolerance policy for abuse of our systems. We regularly audit employee access to internal tools and limit access whenever and wherever possible."
There are three teams in the US, Romania and India. How many employees have clearance to access the location data is unclear, but user account details are scrambled, so in theory, the process remains anonymous. Creepy, yes, but anonymous.
Much of the data comes from information provided by customers during setup, but a range of telemetry scooped up by Alexa boxes gives a clearer picture.
It's thought that access to the system has been reduced over the last year, with more staff being restricted, following the initial report, with some staff no longer having access to the tools that facilitate their job.
As for us - maybe we all need one of these. μ
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