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Is Amazon Alexa spying on you?

Proton VPN Blog: “Amazon and third parties (including advertising and tracking services) collect smart speaker interaction data. We find that Amazon processes voice data to infer user interests and uses it to serve targeted ads on-platform (Echo devices) as well as off-platform (web). Smart speaker interaction leads to as much as 30X higher ad bids from advertisers. Finally, we find that Amazon’s and skills’ operational practices are often not clearly disclosed in their privacy policies.” Thus concludes a recent damning privacy study on the privacy of Amazon Smart Speaker Ecosystem from Cornell University. So, to answer the question posed in our headline, yes, your Amazon Alexa is spying on you, and with an estimated 35% of adults (some 91 million people) now owning a smart speaker in the United States alone, this is alarming.  This is a view strongly held by the US Federal Trade Commission, which in May 2023 imposed a $25 million fine on Amazon over privacy violations involving its Alexa voice assistant (and its doorbell camera, Ring).

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