upstatemike said:Actually this conversation has made me realize what malevolent devices cell phones are and is forcing me to rethink my communications strategy. While Alexa represents a potential security threat with no actual examples yet reported, Cell Phone microphones are known to be exploited on a regular basis both by the NSA and by criminal parties using tools acquired from the dark web. Additionally cell phones are carried on your person and are more likely to be in range of a sensitive conversation than is an Echo sitting in a specific room. You are also not likely to go around reciting your social security number or credit card numbers out loud for Alexa to hear but that data often finds its way into cell phone apps where it can be easily harvested. Cell phones are also starting to experience more telemarketing calls and phone fraud which you don't see within the phone functionality of Alexa.
So my new strategy is this: Over the course of the next year I am going to give Echos as gifts at every opportunity to family and friends and encourage them to communicate with me using the Echo phone features rather than traditional phone lines. Around this time next year I am going to discontinue all cell phone service and make Alexa the only way a person can reach me. This is no hardship for me making outbound calls since Alexa can call any phone number but nobody can call me unless they use Alexa and by then all of the people I care to hear from will have one due to my year of gifting them. I'm happy to tell any business or other entity who might wish to reach me to get Alexa or get lost so I'm not concerned about that. At this point Alexa is clearly near the bottom of the list of technologies that could potentially be used to harm me so it makes sense to ditch the already compromised platforms and start using something less dangerous.
This sounded to me like an interesting plan as I read it until I got to the "get Alexa or get lost" part. Good luck with that.