Amazon’s Alexa recorded private conversation and sent it to random contact

The company, which has insisted its Echo devices aren’t always recording, has confirmed the audio was sent

No matter how suspicious it has seemed that Amazon is encouraging us to put listening devices in every room of our homes, the company has always said that its Echo assistants are not listening in or recording conversations. Over and over again, company spokespeople have promised that they only start recording if someone says the wake word: “Alexa”.

It’s a spiel Danielle, an Alexa user from Portland, Oregon, had believed. She’d installed Echo devices and smart bulbs in every room in her house, accepting Amazon’s claims that they were not invading her privacy. But today she asked the company to investigate after an Alexa device recorded a private conversation between her and her husband and sent it to a random number in their address book without their permission.

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Facebook launches disclaimers on political ads showing who bought them

After controversy over Russian ads targeting US election, company creates searchable archive of political advertising

Six months after acknowledging it had run advertisements purchased by a Russian influence operation during the 2016 US presidential campaign, Facebook launched new political ad labels in the US disclosing who paid for them.

Also starting Thursday on Facebook and Instagram, users will be able to search an archive of election and political issue ads in the US for all the political ads by a given candidate or organization. The archive will also allow users to see limited demographic information – age, gender and location – about the audience who saw the ad.

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Businesses resort to desperate emailing as GDPR deadline looms

As regulations come into force on Friday, inboxes fill with messages hoping to persuade customers to stay subscribed

As the GDPR deadline approaches, businesses have been resorting to ever more desperate attempts to get users to open their emails.

Some have opted for humour. Restaurant chain Wahaca asked users if they could “taco bout your data and your emails”. Wagamama asked customers not to “say toodles to noodles”.

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