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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

By Request: It’s listening

Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo

Subscriber Brett writes:

Dan, as a user of the Amazon Echo, how do you deal with having something in your house that “records” everything you say all the time? Doesn’t that bother you?”

This comes up a lot when I talk about the Echo; it seems to be one of people’s primary concerns with the device. And it should be: the recent battle over encryption and privacy has put a spotlight on the information that all of our devices have on us. People have a reasonable expectation that the conversations and things they say in their homes will remain private.

That said, this isn’t a concern unique to Amazon: if you have an iPhone 6s (or a plugged-in iPhone or iPad running iOS 9), those devices are listening to you as well—that’s how the “Hey Siri” feature works.

What I think this actually comes down to is that people who ask this question generally trust Apple and are skeptical of Amazon.…

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