Alexa, who else is listening?


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Sex, private conversations, daily routines - smart assistants likes Alexa and Siri know often more about you, than you may think. This talk shows what metadata reveals about your private life. It investigates how private conversations, wrongly transmitted, are also analyzed by human transcribers, hired by big tech.

This talk investigates smart assistants like Alexa and Siri. For half a year we collected in an experiment our own Alexa voice data, analyzed and investigated it. We deeply looked into accidental triggers. These are words and sentences which wake Alexa and Siri up, even if they shouldn’t. Every time for a couple of seconds, audio data, is transmitted to Amazon or Apple. And as it is widely known, real people are listening to that. Sex, children, employers talking to their bosses – we met whistleblowers and transcribers, who have worked for the big tech companies. They improve the artificial intelligence of smart speakers for the price of private eavesdropping. The analyzed metadata revealed even more how deep smart speakers intrude your private sphere – and that in the end Amazon, Apple and Google will know (nearly) everything about you. Disclaimer: This research was part of a journalistic research, which was already published in june 2020.