Should you be concerned that your Amazon Alexa is connected to the CIA?
Turns out even technology such as Amazon’s virtual assistant – Alexa – isn’t even immune to internet conspiracy theories.
According to Fortune, Amazon’s Alexa was recently the victim of a conspiracy theory claiming it was connected to the Central Intelligence Agency. This conspiracy theory caused stories to start to propagate on various media outlets questioning whether or not your Amazon Alexa was actually ratting you out to the CIA.
Fortune notes the conspiracy theory managed to get so much attention that Amazon decided to respond – claiming there was absolutely no truth to it.
Where did this conspiracy theory originate?
Well, the theory that Amazon’s Alexa was in some way connected to the CIA originated after a woman posted a video on YouTube of herself asking her Alexa a series of questions. The video the woman posted on YouTube can be viewed below.
For starters, the woman asks Alexa if she would ever lie to her. Alexa reveals that while she might get information wrong at some point in time, she would never intentionally lie to someone who asked her a question. Next, the woman asked Alexa what the CIA means. Alexa responded by explaining what the CIA was. Finally, the woman asked Alexa if she was connected to the CIA. Alexa lit up to listen to the question, made a noise as if the question was acknowledged, but didn’t respond. After the light shut off, the woman repeated the question a second time. Again, the Amazon Echo device appeared to acknowledge the question. However, it did not respond.
The lack of response gave off a chilling vibe as anyone who has an Echo device knows Alexa will answer just about any question you ask. Typically, if you ask a complicated question, the Echo simply responds by telling you it doesn’t know the answer to the question. The Amazon Alexa neglecting to answer the question led people to assume the Echo device wasn’t answering because it had something to hide.
It didn’t take long for the video to go viral and shortly after, the conspiracy theories began to propagate. Was Amazon’s Alexa not answering the question because it is connected to the CIA? Is it spying on you and sending relevant information to the CIA? These were the questions and theories starting to form.
As silly and fun as the conspiracy theories may have been for anyone who knew they weren’t true, Amazon likely didn’t want so much bad press floating around about their Amazon Alexa. Amazon released a statement that Alexa’s lack of response to whether or not the Echo device is linked to the CIA was nothing more than a “technical glitch.”
The company also responded to the conspiracy theories by making an adjustment to the programming. Now, Amazon’s Alexa will no longer remain silent when you ask it any variation of whether or not it works for or is linked to the CIA. The Echo device was modified to give the following response anytime you ask it a variation of the question.
“No, I’m not employed by them. I work for Amazon.”
While chances are pretty good your Amazon Echo device isn’t recording your every move and sending the data to the CIA, it makes sense as to why people would be concerned. After all, the Amazon Echo was believed to possibly contain evidence relevant to a murder case. One can only assume an Amazon Echo device would have to keep some kind of record of what goes on in your home – or office – in order for Alexa to have been able to record evidence relevant to a murder case.
Do you think the Amazon Echo could be connected to the CIA?
[Featured Image by David Becker/Getty Images]