is anybody out there?

Pink Floyd’s epic song of the same name is quite possibly the best piece on the album “The Wall”. Today’s post is about our creepy friend Alexa of Amazon fame.

Setting the Scene: 9AM, the desk next to my printer

I’m sitting here doing a little work and I notice that the Amazon Echo Dot at the 3D printer table next to me is doing an animated light show. Insufficiently-caffeinated, I’m trying to recall what this particular color show means. It finally dawns on me, ah, it’s rebooting. I didn’t ask it to reboot. And since it’s plugged into a good-quality UPS I’d have heard the relay click off if there had been a power problem and there wasn’t.

So I’m guessing it’s shenanigans (again) from Amazon.

dot

It eventually gets done with its reboot and goes back into mute mode as before. As you might have remembered from an earlier post, Alexa is creepy, listens in on your conversations and shares what it’s heard with Amazon. So of course, it’s left with the microphone turned off most of the time.

Next, I visit the Alexa App on my phone and dig deep within the Settings interface to finally find that yes, they’ve turned on the Drop-In feature again.

…yes, they’ve turned on the (creepy) Drop-In feature again

Seriously? Is it time for a class-action lawsuit against these people? The Drop-In feature effectively allows others to spy on your audio feed. I don’t want that. I turned off the feature. Amazon turned it back on in an update I didn’t initiate.

What’s next? Will then auto-upgrade with the settings configured so that the Drop-In is toggled back on as well as the microphone? Hey Amazon, illegal wiretapping is illegal.

Hey Amazon, illegal wiretapping is illegal.

Consumers don’t opt-out of their constitutional or civic rights by purchasing a product and turning it on. Federal Law 18 U.S. Code § 2510 and the following sections describe the laws against wiretapping of conversations. Amazon, consider yourself warned.

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