People complain about how much personal data virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant collect. But what makes it worse is when the digital helper blabs without even offering up a spoiler alert. According to U.K. newspaper The Sun, 41-year old Lizzy Nuttall of Wrotham, Kent had ordered her 10-year old daughter Alice a £130 ($168 USD) Instax camera for Christmas. The order was placed on Black Friday and Lizzy was excited for her daughter because she had been talking for months about buying this particular camera.
Now anyone with a smart speaker or display knows that Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri can be blabbermouths. But Amazon said that with Christmas less than a month away, Alexa would not reveal any items likely to be a Christmas present starting on November 17th. That is why Lizzy was stunned when Alexa let the cat out of the bag. As she explains, "When we went into the kitchen yesterday, the yellow light was on to say there was a message. Then it blurted out, ‘Parcel arriving — Instax. Alice tried to cover it up saying, 'I haven’t heard, I haven’t heard' — but she clearly had and so her surprise is ruined."
Now that Alice won't be surprised by the camera, her mom says, "The frustrating thing is Alexa has been saying it will not reveal the contents of a parcel. I want to warn other parents so they don’t have their children’s surprises spoiled. Now we’ll have to get Alice another gift because she hasn’t got a surprise."
So Christmas shoppers, you are officially warned. Regardless of which personal assistant you use, they can take the wraps off your Christmas shopping secrets. Before you check the messages on your speaker, make sure the kids are not anywhere nearby!