Originally Posted by sutton8
Amazon listening in for marketing can be disabled from within the Alexa app.
Fine. However, is it enabled by default? (my bet would be 'yes' but I don't know)
Of course some people will believe that Amazon/FBI/CIA/NSA/Moonies and whomever are always listening regardless. Nothing could ever change them of that view.
Perhaps that is because there is ample evidence it's possible. Flipping a flag on a UI screen doesn't disable a feature. It simply sends a message to the user. I've been programming for over 30 years, and I've seen plenty of programs ("apps" in current parlance) with broken code that erroneously reported to users what it was actually doing.
Virtually every retail motherboard sold in the USA since 2002 has one or more backdoors built into the BIOS. Every mobo manufactured in China has one. If there aren't backdoors on our 'smart' phones, Alexa, and similar devices, there soon will be. Web cams have the same issue. How do you think hackers get into all these IoT devices? It's largely thanks to today's culture of sloppy programming and "we'll just fix it in the next Scrum cycle" management attitude.
There are numerous examples of hackers eavesdropping. The fact is, if it is physically possible to do so, there is always a risk. It may be remote, but it's there. If that is important to someone, they should recognize that fact. Whether or not that actually happens to any particular individual likely depends on whether or not that individual is of interest. So, if you're not interesting, you don't have much to be concerned about.
For the record Amazon does not keep day to day conversations. Anything it has recorded can easily be deleted from within your Amazon account.
That doesn't mean it's deleted from everywhere. Again, there's what you see and what you don't see. The CIA has - quite literally - warehouses of servers that store data vacuumed from various sources. It is eventually disposed of but not until it's been filtered.
It's highly likely that today it's possible for various actors to glean copies of the voice data you're referring to. Again, one has to assess their personal risk tolerance and their ideological preferences and act accordingly. You are naive if you don't believe there's less and less privacy in the world, and that we aren't all freely handing over our own "content," because that is most certainly the case. Most people just don't care. They value their perceived benefits of this process more than keeping those thoughts and behavioral patterns to themselves. What is going on today is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
It is dangerous to oversimplify the facts and reality. At least recognize what one is doing.