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HomeBig TechAmazon Disables Homeowner's Smart Home After False Claim From Driver

Amazon Disables Homeowner’s Smart Home After False Claim From Driver

Amazon disabled a homeowner’s account after a false claim from a delivery driver, effectively rendering his smart home useless. The homeowner utilized Amazon Echo devices with Alexa enabled to link all of the smart devices in his home. He could control these devices with voice commands and his smartphone. This connected system became useless, at least through the Amazon Echo, for one week after an Amazon driver thought he heard a racial slur from the homeowner’s video doorbell. The driver filed a complaint with Amazon. Amazon then suspended the homeowner’s account.

The automated message from the doorbell actually stated, “Excuse me, how can I help you?” The homeowner provided evidence of this through security footage. This evidence did not matter, because Amazon suspended his account almost immediately. Smart devices are convenient for many people throughout the world, but an over-reliance on these devices may deprive people of certain civil liberties.

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