Amazon workers listened and transcribed commands on 'Alexa' device: Report

The online retail giant told ABC News that audio was not stored unless it was triggered by the wake word and "all information is treated with high confidentiality."
1:31 | 04/11/19

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Transcript for Amazon workers listened and transcribed commands on 'Alexa' device: Report
Next tonight here, Alexa, are you listening to this headline? Tonight, employees hired to listen to what you ask Alexa for, and what they say they also heard in the process. They told "Bloomberg" some of what they heard was alarming. Here's ABC's linsey Davis. Alexa, dim the lights. Okay. Reporter: While Alexa is listening to while you speak, some Amazon employees may be listening, too. Tonight, "Bloomberg" reports that thousands of workers from around the world listen, review and transcribe your choice commands, comparing what you say to what Alexa's algorithm thinks you said, in an effort to, what Amazon says, is to improve the customer experience. According to "Bloomberg," workers revealed they inadvertently sometimes overhead background and possibly criminal activity, including on at least one occasion, a potential sexual assault. Alexa, drop in on Charlie. Reporter: Amazon items ABC news, audio is not stored unless it has been triggered by the wake word, and at that time, the light of the top of the device turns blue. Of that audio, "An extremely small number of interactions from a random set of customers" are annotated, they said, and all information is treated with high confidentiality. And Amazon wants to reassure people tonight that employees do not have direct access to information that can identify the person or account, and that users can disable access and delete their voice recordings at any time. David? We often ask Alexa to find you in the afternoon. Thank you, linsey.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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