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Amazon, Google could record sensitive info as you work from home

A reminder to those who are working at home: You might want to turn your Amazon or Google smart home speaker them off, or at the very least, mute the microphone. 

What most people forget is that Alexa and the Google Assistant are always listening. Sure, they only come to life after you utter “Alexa” or “Hey, Google,” but what happens when you slip those words in the middle of sentences? 

You’ll be recorded.

Amazon and Google record every interaction, even if you don’t ask a specific question, and the recordings are stored on Amazon and Google servers. (You have the option of going in and deleting the recordings after the fact.)

Sometimes the speakers are awakened with words that they mistake for the wake words. According to a recent study by Northeastern University, the connected speakers kicked into action many times based on those mistakes. The university found that words that rhymed with “k” and sound like Alexa, like “exclamation,” would awake the speaker and start recording. 

The great thing about having an Amazon Echo or Google Home speaker in your home is that you can use your voice to get the radio played, turn on and off smart lights, control the TV and way more. 

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But now you’re home at work, dealing with sensitive information that your employer might not want recorded by Google and Amazon. 

You could say something innocuous like ‘Hey Google, turn off the lights,” or “Alexa, what time is it?” and there’s no problem there. 

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