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By Bruce Sussman
Fri | Jan 4, 2019 | 2:56 PM PST

Amazon's Alexa devices put up some incredible big data numbers, and Amazon is sharing them.

The numbers reveal how we do the holidays and the growth in not only using smart devices but also in buying more of them. 

Securing the Internet of Things (IoT) devices will certainly be on SecureWorld 2019 cybersecurity conference agendas across North America.

Alexa and Amazon holiday 2018 statistics and facts

Christmas 2018 according to Alexa; what we did:

  • Customers asked Alexa to turn on their holiday lights tens of millions of times this holiday season, with the number one request being “Alexa, turn on the Christmas tree.”
  • Alexa set more than 100 million timers this holiday season.
  • Customers requested nearly three times as many recipes this holiday season compared to last.
  • Alexa helped mix hundreds of thousands of cocktails this holiday season—with eggnog and Moscow Mule being the most requested drinks.
  • The number one holiday song that customers requested was “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey.
  • Customers around the world asked Alexa how many days or "sleeps" until Christmas this holiday season. Customers in the United Kingdom were the most excited, asking twice as much as customers in any other country.

Amazon reveals what we bought over the holidays: our gifts were smart, smart, smart:

  • Customers made their homes even smarter this year with a record number of smart home devices sold on Amazon. Bestsellers:
    • Amazon Smart Plug
    • Ring Video Doorbell 2
    • TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug Mini Outlet
    •  iRobot Roomba 690
  • Ring and Blink sold more devices this holiday season than ever before, as more and more customers are keeping their homes safe.

Author's note: We bought our Ring doorbell months before the holiday season, and it has done a great job notifying us of unusual suspects on the front lawn or the porch. This is my favorite shot:


And of course, Amazon touts the fact that sales of its devices hit record numbers:

  • Customers purchased millions more Amazon devices this holiday season compared to last year. The best-selling Amazon devices this holiday included all-new Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick 4K with all-new Alexa Voice Remote, and Echo.

As both consumers and industry keep adding Internet of Things devices, you have to wonder how we'll secure it all.

And most of these devices collect some sort of data, and many transmit it to the cloud. And then what?

What kind of digital footprint are we each creating, and who is capturing that footprint?

We interviewed The Privacy Professor CEO Rebecca Herold at SecureWorld, and she puts it like this:

"What's happening with all the information these IoT devices are collecting on us? Where does the information go at first? And then once its in a database somewhere, where does it go from there and who is it shared with. No one really knows."

However, based on the trends Amazon reported, we're willing to take our chances.