TINY BUT RICH Luxembourg has become the latest country to question Amazon over the way it gathers data from its voice assistant Alexa.
This might seem like an itty-bitty problem, until you remember that for reasons best known to Amazon's accountants, Luxembourg is the country that hosts Amazon's entire EU business.
In case you've been living under a rock, it emerged earlier in the year that Amazon was keeping recordings and offering them up for transcription by external contractors. It meant in some cases they had access to crimes being committed, eavesdropped on sexy-times and other things that it would make you hurl if you stopped and thought about it too hard.
After all the recent shenanigans surrounding voice assistant data and its use, it's now the turn of the Luxembourg National Data Protection Commission (CNPD) to probe Amazon on behalf of the EU27 1/2.
There's no word on a formal probe yet, and a statement from the CNPD simply said: "Unfortunately, at this stage, we cannot comment further about this case as we are bound by the obligation of professional secrecy,"
The news comes just a week after Amazon acknowledged that the terms and conditions that nobody reads anyway weren't clear enough that this was a possibility. In response, it has added an option to deactivate voice file retentions.
Microsoft has also confirmed that it uses real-life humans to monitor Cortana and Skype but is yet to confirm if it's going to change that practice.
With some countries in the EU questioning whether voice assistant recording retention is a breach of GDPR legislation, it's not just Amazon that is facing a lot of awkward questions right now. Amazon will ask us to change this article at around 1536 this afternoon. μ
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