While voice assistants like Alexa are remarkably helpful, you should keep in mind that like most modern technology, you leave a footprint wherever you go.
When does Alexa listen?
It’s important to differentiate between listening and recording. The microphones in these smart speakers are always listening, but, by default, they are only listening for the ‘wake word’ or the activation keyword.” Since the whole purpose behind the device is to instantly respond to users’ requests, it makes sense that Alexa is constantly scanning audio for its wake word, which can either be “Alexa,” “Computer,” or “Echo.” However, this does not mean that Alexa is always recording.
When does Alexa record?
Amazon’s list of frequently asked questions says that Alexa only begins recording your conversation upon hearing the device’s wake word. So, when you say ‘Hey, Alexa,’ all of the audio gets analyzed and is being listened to by the microphones on the device, and only if the keyword ‘Alexa’ is detected, then everything that you say after that gets recorded. After the device records, it uploads the audio to Amazon’s cloud, where they have algorithms in the server that analyze the speech pattern and try to detect and identify the words you are saying. While Alexa’s response may seem instantaneous, it actually has to work with Amazon’s cloud to comprehend varying accents, speech clarity, and vocabularies. This means that each time you wake up Alexa, the smart speaker is recording your conversations, creating an automated transcript of what you are saying, and using that to fulfill your request.
How can I delete my Alexa recordings?
Open up the Alexa app, and sign in using your Amazon account password if necessary. When you arrive at the home screen, look in the upper left-hand corner, and select the icon that looks like dashed lines, or the main Menu. Look down to the bottom of the menu, and select the option that says Settings. Select Alexa Account and at the bottom you should see an option that says Alexa Privacy. Select this to begin. Go to Review Voice History.
How can I stop Alexa sending my voice clips to strangers?
Go to Alexa Privacy and then select Manage Your Alexa Data. Amazon warns you that turning the setting off will mean new features may not work well but if you’d rather not be spied on then turn it off.
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