The customer realized this when he requested access to past recordings of his own activities, and when Amazon, the parent company of the device, sent him the link, he also found recordings of another's customer's conversation-precisely 1,700 audio files worth, Reuters reported from Frankfurt.
"This was an unfortunate case of human error and an isolated incident. We have resolved the issue with the two customers involved and have taken steps to further improve our processes", an Amazon spokeswoman said. "As a precautionary measure we contacted the relevant authorities", said the Amazon spokesperson.
The user, based in Germany, said that he informed Amazon of the issue but got no reply. An Amazon representative reportedly told them that one of their staff members had made a one-time error.
Amazon accidentally sent 1,700 recordings of someone speaking to Alexa to the wrong person, according to a German magazine. User A wanted to download his data (as per European data protection regulations) from Amazon, but received voice recordings from user B instead.
It added that the audio files revealed a lot of personal data, including where he lived, who his partner is and his taste in music. However, there were also hundreds of Wav files and a PDF cataloging transcripts of Alexa's interpretations of voice commands.
CT created a profile of the user and was able to identify the customer, his girlfriend, and some friends, using it. CT contacted the customer and he confirmed that his voice was on the recordings. In May, a couple in OR found that their Amazon Echo sent a conversation to the husband's employee.
The magazine followed up with both parties, and found that three days after c't contacted Amazon, the customer who made the initial GDPR request received a phone call "to explain that one of their staff had made a one-time error". And Thanks to Amazon's Echo range of smart speakers and other third-party devices, it's presence in our homes is growing by the minute. The audio recordings provided a great deal of information about the then-unknown Amazon customer including where and how Alexa was used, information about jobs, people, alarms, likes, home application controls, and transport inquiries.