Amazon Echo Buds
Review date: 11/02/2020
The cheapest pair of earbuds on our list, Amazon's Echo Buds tout their connection to all things Alexa, of course. So if you want to enjoy all the features of these headphones, you'll have to connect them through the Alexa app. You also get decent sound, Bose Active Noise Reduction, and they are sweat-resistant if you want to exercise in them. Amazon wants you to know these are "designed to protect your privacy." Which means you can mute the mics, but you have to do it through the Alexa app which means you must sign into it first.
What could happen if something goes wrong
We're happy to see Amazon making an effort to do better when it comes to your privacy. They made it possible to automatically delete voice recording immediately after they are processed. That's a nice feature after so much controversy recently about human reviewers listening in to Alexa voice recordings. Especially since Alexa is now built into everything from your smart speakers to your kids' toys to your glasses and headphones. And while Amazon doesn't sell your personal information, they sure do use the heck out of it to target you with more stuff to buy. Remember, your new favorite Alexa ask is, "Alexa, delete everything I said today."
Can it snoop on me?
What is required to sign up?
Third party account
What data does it collect?
Name, email, phone number, address
How does it use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record for protecting users’ data?
In October, 2020, Amazon fired an employee for leaking customer email addresses to an unnamed third party. In November, 2018, Amazon suffered a data breach that caused customer names and email addresses to be disclosed on its webpage.
Can this product be used offline?
User friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Uses encryption in transit and at rest.
You need an Amazon account and password to set up Alexa.
Amazon has a bug bounty program, which means that anyone who finds a security issue and discloses it responsibly may get paid. https://hackerone.com/amazonvrp Security researchers can report a vulnerability here. https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201909140
Does the product use AI?
Does the AI use your personal data to make decisions about you?
Does the company allow users to see how the AI works?
Amazon Alexa utilizes AI and natural language understanding (NLU) to understand what people are saying and to respond to requests. More information can be found at the Alexa FAQ and the Amazon Science webpage.