Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family’s contact

Amazon says an “unlikely” string of events prompted its Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family’s private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle.

The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an employee of her husband contacted them to say he thought their device had been hacked. He told them he had received an audio file of them discussing hardwood floors.

In a statement Thursday, Amazon confirmed the woman’s private conversation had been inadvertently recorded and sent.

It says the device interpreted a word in the background conversation as “Alexa” – a command that makes the machine wake up – and then it interpreted the conversation as a “send message” request.

The company says it is “evaluating options to make this case even less likely.”