Alexa Play Government Conspiracies


The Amazon Echo in gray

Brandon Johnson , Staff Writer

The next big thing in virtual assistance comes in the form of a responsive speaker named Alexa. This speaker appears to be a form of artificial intelligence as it interacts in conversation and give demands such as “Alexa what’s the weather?” then Alexa will respond with the forecast.  As this product from Amazon has been all over advertisements, news, and into peoples homes questions have started to appear on whether or not this device is an invasion of privacy. Many people believe there’s a risk in using smart speakers because much of your personal information is not secure as data by Amazon’s virtual assistant and in similar speakers. Alexa is not the first to bring up this topic as many conspiracy theorists believe the government is honing in on our conversations over the phone or through any social media platforms.  

The Alexa speaker in black/small

This may seem like our worst fear is coming true, but Alexa has its ups and downs. People can argue that this device is an invasion of privacy. For example, according to a Bloomberg article on the backlash of Alexa, there was a married couple in Oregon that found out that their Amazon Echo had sent their friend a recording of a private conversation they had regarding their home. The couple claims that their robot assistant had betrayed them and unfortunately Amazon admitted the couple was telling the truth. On the other hand, this invasion of privacy could benefit our society in the sense of keeping us safe. A lot of cases involve more private conversations getting out but solving mysteries and murder cases. One interview with an Alexa user on CBS news claimed that she was aware of this peeping Alexa but yet appreciated the excessive need to get to know its consumer. Saying that the information Alexa collects can benefit her in the long run from advertisement suggestions to general life assistance. The real reason Alexa exists in the first place.

In other points of views from those who don’t have an Alexa say that it is their choice to have an Alexa, so you’re consenting to the exploitation of your privacy. One student at Wheeler high school, Caitlin Reed said that nobody forced you to buy the product and that you’re allowing the exploitation of your privacy. Another student at Wheeler high school who has an Alexa smart speaker says that she tends to leave it unplugged because it’s a little creepy how it’ll turn on by itself when she’s on the phone or just talking.

In conclusion, virtual assistance is indeed listening in to our conversations but for better or for worse. People would suggest researching the product before you buy it, so you at least know what you’re getting into. Whatever the case may be it is up for you to decide whether it is an invasion of privacy from recording random conversations and sharing them with your peers to giving crucial evidence in court cases. The Alexa might just be all up in your business or helping you out in the long run.