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Amazon in talks with Luxembourg watchdog over privacy concerns with Alexa

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Amazon in talks with Luxembourg watchdog over privacy concerns with Alexa Inc. has come under scrutiny of Luxembourg's national privacy regulator over how the company handles recordings from its voice assistant Alexa, Reuters reported Aug. 8.

Luxembourg's National Data Protection Commission has asked the U.S. e-commerce giant to provide information regarding Alexa amid a rising unease over companies' use of personal data, the report said. The commission is already in touch with Amazon regarding the issue, Reuters added.

"At this stage, we cannot comment further about this case as we are bound by the obligation of professional secrecy," a spokesman for the privacy regulator told Reuters.

The report follows Apple Inc. and Google LLC's decision to suspend reviews of voice recordings collected by Siri and Google Assistant after British newspaper The Guardian reported that the companies, along with Amazon, all hire contractors to listen in and review recordings of responses made by their voice assistants.

Bloomberg News reported Aug. 2 that Amazon also updated its user policy to let Alexa users disable human review of their voice recordings, following Apple and Google's earlier moves.

Most recently, an Amazon spokeswoman told Reuters that "voice recordings from customers who use this opt-out are also excluded from our supervised learning workflows that involve manual review of an extremely small sample of Alexa requests."