Alexa may be listening in to more than it should.
Users of Amazon's voice-activated personal assistant have reported that the device purchased online products without their knowledge, CW6 originally reported.
Families were met with an unexpected surprise when they were charged with a $200 dollhouse. It happened after two local anchors were talking about a kindergartener who accidentally bought the same dollhouse and four pounds of cookies.
The San Diego local newscast featured that story, hoping to warn Echo users of Alexa's glitches. Instead, more families ended up with more dollhouses because Alexa registered the words said on the newscast as a command to purchase more.
A unwanted dollhouse is easy to return, but there have been more serious instances. For another family, Alexa registered a child's voice into thinking he asked for porn, which was obviously not the case, reported Mashable.
In the future we'll spend our time disabling stupid IoT devices to prevent our fridges gambling our savings in Vegas https://t.co/5Rc8Gr80NZ— Hari Kunzru (@harikunzru) January 7, 2017
There are ways to curb Alexa's shopaholic tendencies. Amazon encouraged users to enable a button that requires a person to confirm purchases.