A short while ago I told lawyers that we had to stop using gmail. I said that because Google is allowing its contractors to read through users’ messages for the purpose of software improvement. According to a 2008 ethics opinion out of New York, that meant that lawyers no longer had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the gmail system. The same problem now applies to Amazon Alexa.
Recently Bloomberg reported that Amazon is recording some peoples’ use of Alexa-powered devices and it’s providing those recordings to employees and contractors. Those personnel are then reviewing the recordings for the purposes of improving the algorithms and correcting software errors. But if lawyers are now aware that human beings are listening to recordings from these devices, then it follows that we no longer have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the product.
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