Don’t Want Alexa Listening In Your Wynn Las Vegas Hotel Room? Unplug That Echo

At first, it might sound pretty cool that the Wynn Las Vegas will be adding Amazon Echo speakers to every hotel room. hotel room. In fact, the idea of a voice-controlled assistant in your room may be something you see as a positive — but it could also be a bit creepy to think that the always-listening device is sitting by your bedside, hearing everything you do while alone (or not) in your room.

All 4,748 hotel rooms at Wynn Las Vegas will be equipped with Echo by the summer of 2017, Amazon and Wynn Resorts announced today. Initially, guests will only be able to ask Alexa to do things like turn down the room lights, adjust the temperature and drapery, and control the TV. That means no ordering stuff from Amazon Prime, or directing Alexa to pump up the jams.

Eventually, features like a personal assistant function will be added.

“She becomes our butler, at the service of each of our guests,” said Wynn Resorts chairman and CEO Steve Wynn. “I have never, ever seen anything that was more intuitively dead on to making a guest experience seamlessly delicious, effortlessly convenient than the ability to talk to your room.”

While voice-controlling your hotel thermostat or ordering up room service without having to touch the hotel phone is a plus, there are definitely reasons to be concerned about the Echo’s always-on microphone.

It’s currently unclear what Wynn and Amazon will do to maintain users’ privacy — especially as more customizable options are added to the service. As The Verge notes, the app does allow users to review previous commands, a feature that hotel workers — or clever snoops — could possibly take advantage of.

And although hotel employees might not be sitting around actively listening to what you’ve told Alexa, having Echo speakers in hotel rooms would seem to only give hackers more of an incentive to try to compromise these devices.

Whether you’re on a business call or just checking in with your mom on FaceTime, no one wants to be overheard. If you don’t want Alexa to listen in, you can mute the Echo’s microphone by hitting a button on the top of the device. But if you really want to make sure Alexa isn’t quietly listening to your every utterance, just unplug the thing and dim the lights manually like it’s still 2015.

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