Reviewed October 2nd, 2020
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Amazon Echo Smart Speaker, Inc.


The Amazon Echo is a smart speaker that allows you to play music, control lights, make phone calls, search the internet, and more all within one voice-controlled device. The speaker can be purchased for $49.99 to $199.99 depending on the model.

Breach History

Has there ever been a breach or data leak?


Date of last breach

February 2020

A large database containing millions of European customer records was found unsecured on Amazon Web Services on February 3, 2020. Information from several companies was found on this database, such as Amazon, eBay, Shopify, PayPal, and Stripe. Leaked personal information could include name, shipping address, email, phone number, items purchased, payment history, and partially redacted credit cards.

Privacy Checklist

Does it meet our minimum privacy standards?

Is any kind of biometric data collected (health, heart, voice, etc.)?


Are you able to delete your data / the data collected about you?


Does it use cookies, telemetry, or third-party tracking scripts?


Is the privacy policy user-friendly (easy to understand)?


Does it have parental controls?


Does it use encryption to protect your data both in-transit and at-rest?


Does it get regular software and / or firmware updates?


Does it require you to create a strong password?


Is there a system in place for managing security vulnerabilities?


Does it have a privacy policy?


How Can It Snoop?

What sensitive hardware access requirements does it have?

Does it have a camera or request / require access to a camera?


Does it have a microphone or request / require access to a microphone?


Does it track your location or request / require access to location data?


Account Requirements

What information is required to create an account or use it?

Does it require an email address to use?


Does it require a phone number to use?


Does it require an address (home or office) to use?


Payment Options

What payment methods are available?

Are you able to use a credit card as a payment option?


Are you able to use a cryptocurrency as a payment option?


Are you able to use PayPal as a payment option?


Are you able to use cash or gift cards as a payment option?


What Could Go Wrong?

What's the worst case scenario for your data?

Amazon collects and may review voice data from interactions with Alexa, meaning someone could be listening to your private conversations unless you opt out of human review. Amazon also uses device data to target you with marketing and customized ads. Be aware of these risks should you choose to purchase this product.

How Does It Share Your Data?

Where is your data going? Who has access to it?

Voice requests are used to train Alexa's speech recognition, and Amazon may use device data to target you with customized marketing and targeted ads. Amazon claims it does not sell, share or rent personal data otherwise without your consent.

Good Things

Why should you use it?

  • Improved sound quality.

Bad Things

What are the downsides?

  • Privacy concerns.
  • Midrange sound could be better.
  • Nothing new other than upgraded speakers.

Final Thoughts

Amazon notoriously collects a large amount of data on its users and uses it to target them with interest-based ads. Amazon was also included in a data breach that exposed information from several million European Amazon accounts. As a result, personal information seems to be at serious risk when provided to Amazon.

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