Amazon’s Alexa Team Can Access User Locations, Figure Out Home Addresses

An Amazon team that has access to recorded voice commands of Alexa users also reportedly can access the users’ latitude and longitude coordinates, which can be inputted into Google Maps to determine their addresses. According to Bloomberg, the “audit” team—spread across three continents—“transcribes, annotates and analyzes” parts of voice recordings picked up by Alexa devices to help the software better respond to commands. The coordinates are reportedly collected so the device can give local and more accurate suggestions and recommendations. While there is reportedly no evidence of auditing team members trying to find the addresses of individual users, team members told Bloomberg they were concerned about the “unnecessarily broad” data access some employees have.

In a statement, Amazon said the data access it gave to employees was “highly controlled, and is only granted to a limited number of employees who require these tools to train and improve the service by processing an extremely small sample of interactions.” The company also claimed that it “regularly audit[ed] employee access to internal tools and limit[ed] access whenever and wherever possible.”