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By now, we’ve all heard the story of the six-year old who unknowingly ordered a fancy doll house and candy by talking to her parent’s new Amazon Echo Dot. It would seem that there are far bigger problems with this new technology; is it draining your bank account?

The Amazon Echo can perform many household tasks, but some owners have found that it can also listen to your television and take orders from that, as well. The Echo includes a virtual assistant called, Alexa that can perform tasks requested by you, including internet orders.

The story from the little girl in Dallas took on a whole new life when a Dallas television reporter was reporting on the story. TV anchor, Jim Patton says, “I love the little girl saying, ‘Alexa, order me a doll house’.”

Viewers of the news that night were stunned when their own Amazon Echoes picked up on the comment and ordered doll houses, too. Voice-command purchasing is a default setting on Alexa, and viewers reported that the virtual assistant had mistaken the television audio for their own voices and placed the orders.

Currently, such devices don’t recognize your own specific voice, and so there are instances when you may have guests or your child – and we now know – even your television where things may be accidentally ordered.

This is of course prime picking for cyber criminals. Amazon recommends that you set a four-digit password to avoid rogue payments being made. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission is working to ensure that voice-command devices are made more secure.

If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.

 

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