The company, however, deleted the files from the link later but by that time he had already copied them on his computer. Investigative journalists from c't, however, pored through the user data and recordings and were ultimately able to identify the Amazon customer and his female friend, who can also be heard in some of the recordings.
"This was an unfortunate case of human error and an isolated incident", said Amazon in a statement.
The Alexa user was contacted by Amazon about the breach only after the conversation between Amazon and c't took place, three days after he was first interviewed by the magazine.
These files even had audio recordings of the person in the shower, according to the report. Roughly 50 million USA homes have some sort of smart speaker device, according to a report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. Additionally, Amazon has been working with authorities, such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation administrators, to prevent future data leak incidents, Business Insider reported. From the recordings, which cover the entire month of May 2018, they were able to determine that he has a Fire TV and an Echo box, and that he uses Alexa to control a smart home thermostat as well as his phone.More news: PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot 'indefinitely benched' for contract refusals - Antero Henrique
As The Post has written, voice-based devices like Amazon's Echo and Google Home are always "awake", passively listening for commands to activate.
The audio files, which were in German, revealed private data about the person, including their first and last name, who their partner is, where they lived, and their taste in music. It turns out both men has requested their data under GDPR, and Amazon had just sent each set of files to the wrong person, ironically causing more GDPR paperwork.
Many consumers have voiced concerns over privacy and the potential for unwanted eavesdropping with digital assistants like Amazon's Alexa, Microsoft's Cortana, or the Google Assistant. The reason given is one of "human error".
Notably, Amazon didn't reply and the download link sent to him by Amazon now stands dead. Back then Amazon called it "an extremely rare occurrence" and blamed it on a one-of a kind string of coincidences where the device interpreted the user's conversation as a series of directions to blurt out what they were saying to a random.