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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

Is Alexa Recording All My Conversations in my Home or Office?

Recently, I was asked by my local NBC affiliate to be the guest tech expert for a story about a double homicide in which police were attempting to get a search warrant for an Alexa device that was in the location where the murder took place. This isn't the first instance of this being done as there have been many cases dating back to 2019 with law enforcement wanting to get access to Alexa to solve a crime. I get questions from many people voicing their concerns about how much their Echo devices are listening in to them. There are always privacy issues when you deal with always-listening devices. Is Alexa listening to every word you and your family are saying? Read on to get a better understanding of how these devices work.

You should understand that Alexa devices are always-on devices, which means it's constantly listening for whatever wake word you've configured your devices to respond to. Once you say the wake word, it will respond to and will record anything that comes after it and store it in the cloud (if you allow it).

Now there are occasions when your Alexa devices may think you've said the wake word when you haven't. The technology behind voice recognition software isn't perfect. I know you have experienced instances where you've used voice to text and have mistakenly used words or phrases you didn't say and that's the big problem. This means your Alexa devices will record conversations without you being aware. It's instances like these law enforcement hopes for whenever they encounter an Alexa device where a crime is committed.