Top 5 Creepy Amazon Echo Conspiracy Theories

Updated on April 24, 2018
Chriswillman90 profile image

Krzysztof is a lifelong future tech junkie investigating the latest stories from companies like Apple, Samsung, Google, and Amazon.

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Amazon Echo Conspiracy Theories

Does Alexa start laughing in the middle of the night? Does your Amazon Echo randomly play a song when you've never said anything?

Does she know everything about you...Maybe?

Smart speakers like the Echo have exploded in popularity recently, and by 2020 the majority of American households are expected to own a smart speaker.

But is that a good thing?

We know how useful they can be, and their list of amazing features keeps growing and growing every week, but just how safe are they.

Below are 5 creepy and unusual conspiracy theories about the Amazon Echo and other smart speakers that you need to hear, and while a lot of these sound silly, there is some truth to many of these.

So buckle in and explore the creepiest conspiracy theories about the Amazon Echo and your friendly neighborhood Alexa.


Disclaimer: These theories are meant to be fun and are in no way reflective of the product. I own several Echo products and a Google Home.

1. Alexa Is Always Listening

Amazon got a lot of heat when Alexa started to randomly laugh when it wasn't prompted to.

Even creepier was when she started to say things that were extremely personal at unexpected moments.

The problem was so severe that the company had to step in and fix these bugs and even disable the laughing command due to how many people were affected by it. It was one of the biggest blunders the platform had ever seen, and it made people even more skeptical about the use of smart speakers.

And why shouldn't they be skeptical?

The Amazon Echo was intended to always be plugged in and always be turned on. The far-field voice recognition system was designed to respond to various prompts whenever the wake word was uttered, which is pretty creepy when you think about it.

Now Amazon makes it clear that Alexa will only record information when its wake word is said, however; what they often don't mention is that she records a few seconds of audio prior to the wake word command.

In fact if you go to your voice recording history on Amazon or in the Alexa app, you may find some things on there that you wish they didn't keep track of. Luckily you could easily erase your voice history, but the fact that it's still on there is very unnerving.

It makes you wonder what else your Echo keeps track of, and if she records more than you think. I mean Amazon has to collect data from you somehow in order to make Alexa function properly, so who knows.

Either way I'd be careful what you say around your smart speaker, and I'd recommend turning off the mic from time to time especially when you don't want anyone knowing what you've said.

2. The Government (FBI) Can Access Your Smart Speaker

When the FBI wanted to unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, it began a massive conversation on government interference into people's private data.

And while it made sense to unlock a terrorist's phone to find out more about them, it did leave the door open for more government surveillance into anyone's life (good or bad).

There's certainly precedent to unlawful government interference like when illegal NSA recordings were leaked by Edward Snowden, but surely our government has learned their lesson right?

Maybe not.

Previously I've stated that most American households are expected to have an always-on smart speaker in their home by 2020, and we've already had cases where information from smart speakers was used to assist in criminal cases.

So what will happen when the majority of Americans own one of these devices, and could the FBI have us on lock-down without us even knowing it?

Well hopefully not, but it is a concern that a lot of people already have. In fact after the price point, obstruction of privacy is one of the biggest detriments people have against owning a smart speaker, and I can't say that I blame them.

With so many cases of identity theft, unlawful government intrusion, and stolen data it's easy to see why people are skeptical of owning one of these gadgets.

So while Alexa may one day be our go-to guide to everything, she may also lead us straight to the FBI's office.

3. The Echo Is an Ad for Amazon

What if I told you the Echo was always intended to be an ad for Amazon.com.

There's enough compelling evidence that the Echo was introduced so that more people would buy into the Amazon ecosystem.

And it makes sense doesn't it?

The Echo is a device that works best if you're an Amazon Prime member, if you subscribe to third-party premium services, and if you purchase the latest smart home accessories.

In fact ever since the Echo was introduced, Prime memberships in the US have skyrocketed, the smart home market has grown rapidly, and more and more people are ordering products off of Amazon.

Amazon even has promotional offers during Prime Day and throughout the holiday season that allow you to save money on products ordered via Alexa including discounts on Echo devices themselves.

It's not crazy to think that the Amazon Echo was meant to get more customers to spend $100 annually for a Prime membership and buy hundreds of dollars worth of items from Amazon.

Even ads for the Amazon Echo look like advertisements for the company because they always feature other goods available on their website.

So could Alexa just be another ad? Well if she got you to buy a bunch of things that you don't need, then maybe.

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4. The Echo Made Jeff Bezos the Richest Person in the World

Jeff Bezos is now the richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of over 120 billion dollars and climbing.

He first achieved this feat back in 2017 but has since leaped over Bill Gates to definitively become the wealthiest person ever. In fact it's not even close anymore.

So how did this happen so rapidly?

One theory was that Jeff Bezos knew how successful the Amazon Echo could become, and that it's success would easily help Amazon's stock soar over the next three years.

But how could he have known how popular the Echo would be especially after the Fire Phone flopped?

The truth is that we don't really know, but clearly he knew something was on the horizon otherwise Amazon's Lab126 would've never began this project.

As Alexa's dominance continues, so will Jeff Bezos wealth and the possibilities for both seem to be infinite right now. Whether or not you view that as a good thing is completely subjective, but alas here we are.

Source

5. The Amazon Echo Knows Everything About You

Amazon has so much data about you that it may know even more than Facebook or Google does.

Your shopping history alone provides Amazon with so many data points that they could easily formulate a profile on everything you like, dislike, and who you are.

Now with Alexa in your home, they know so much more.

Just think about this, Alexa responds to every and any request you give her whether it be intentional or not. She can record seconds of audio before a command, which could easily give her even more info you don't want her knowing.

As more and more households get comfortable with voice tech, the data these cloud services collect will grow exponentially. So not only will Alexa know all about you, she'll know everything about your family, your friends, and even your pets.

Every secret you have, every crime you've committed, every lie you've told, every place that you've shopped, and every thing that you've ever posted or liked will be used by Amazon's web services platform to hook you in.

If that sounds like a horrible Black Mirror episode, then you should be on your toes because while all you see is an innocent speaker, every inkling of data is being uploaded to an invisible cloud that you'll never see.

Your family might not know your deepest, darkest secrets, but I bet Amazon does.

Your Turn!

Does the Amazon Echo scare you?

See results

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • Chriswillman90 profile imageAUTHOR

        Krzysztof Willman 

        6 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

        I can understand why, it's surprising easy to hack someones webcam without them knowing it.

        There have been times when the Echo lights up randomly even without the wake word being spoken, but I assume that's just a firmware update.

      • Chriswillman90 profile imageAUTHOR

        Krzysztof Willman 

        6 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

        I put a disclaimer because I know how sensitive people get about things like this.

        Great explanation to those who are worried about devices spying on them, that's usually the same thing I say to anyone concerned with devices like the Echo spying on them, and don't let me get started with Facebook.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        6 months ago from UK

        I've known friends who have taped over their webcams for fear of being spied on. I still find it off-putting when Echo Dot lights up at the sound of her name in a conversation and appears to join in.

      • NikkiRoxi profile image

        NikkiRoxi 

        7 months ago

        You did put a disclaimer but I’m not sure why you bothered because this article will scare the beejeezes out of people. You negated that disclaimer with everything you wrote subsequently. Luckily I am not easily scared. I heard about the random laughing but I didn’t experience it.

        For all of the people who are so afraid of these devices, let me let you in on something. If you have a Computer (purchased in the last 5-8 years, or a laptop, or a Smartphone or a Tablet, a Wifi enabled Camera, or one of the newer Smart TVs you already have a device that can be used to snoop on you. Most everyone has at least one of aforementioned devices in your house yet you never considered what I just wrote before now. Government agencies have had the ability to spy on you for decades. If you are doing something that brings you on their radar then you have something to worry about, but if you are not then you don’t. They surely do not have the resources to keep in-depth track of every single person in this country 24/7. Nor does Amazon have the server capacity to keep a copy of every single recording they get every single second.

      • Chriswillman90 profile imageAUTHOR

        Krzysztof Willman 

        7 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

        That's a valid concern when you consider what's been happening. My only argument to people who have that fear is that wouldn't your phone also be listening since it's usually always on and near/by you.

        I've recently read stories about people who have conversed with others about various products near their phone, only to have those items appear in Facebook ads later on.

        It gives one pause about privacy concerns whether it's a phone, tablet, laptop or smart speaker.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

        This is a very interesting article. One of my friends won't have one in the house because she fears being listened to.

      • Chriswillman90 profile imageAUTHOR

        Krzysztof Willman 

        7 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

        You have a good point, it doesn't sound right. I think if this was announced a decade ago, everyone would feel the same way.

        I'm a tech nerd so this stuff intrigues me, but I'm aware of how dangerous it can be.

      • Chriswillman90 profile imageAUTHOR

        Krzysztof Willman 

        7 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

        I got chills when I first read about this story, it's very unsettling.

        I completely understand why people would want to avoid it for that reason alone.

      • Chriswillman90 profile imageAUTHOR

        Krzysztof Willman 

        7 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

        Well any always-on smart speaker can feel intrusive to a lot of people.

        I don't think it will stop people from using these devices, but then again a lot of people don't realize how much privacy is being given away.

        Thank you for responding.

      • dougwest1 profile image

        Doug West 

        7 months ago from Raymore, MO

        Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I don't want an active listening microphone my house. It doesn't feel right to me.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 months ago from USA

        My favorite is the random laughing. No way am I getting one of these anytime soon.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        7 months ago from Ontario, Canada

        It is not just Echo but Alexa and Home. I have not installed any of those in my home and I don't think I will. There is already too much intrusion in our lives by our use of the Net.

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