I think we're alone now...
Amazon's Echo speakers have come under scrutiny in recent weeks alight of the news that Alexa has been recording your conversations this entire time. But, perhaps what's more terrifying is how Amazon keeps a copy of everything Alexa records.
Once Alexa hears its name, the device records, often your most personal and intimate moments, since the device tends to sit in the home. When news of this broke, Amazon claimed the reason Alexa records everything you say is in order to help train their artificial intelligence technology.
Granted, the majority of the recording will be very dull. "Alexa, where did I leave my keys?", "Alexa, what time is the Corrination Street repeat on at?" and "Alexa, tell me a joke" if you let your kids have a go. But now, there is a way that you can listen to these moments - and perhaps, more importantly, delete the recording so that they can no longer be used by Amazon.
Listening to the recordings is straightforward, and Amazon is transparent about them, even if the option to find them in the first place might not be entirely obvious. You can get to the relevant page by clicking here and signing in; on the Alexa app, you can click through to settings, pick "Alexa Privacy", and then choose "Review Voice History".
Once curiosity passes and you're ready to delete the recordings, simply choose the relevant "date range" from the picker, and then chose "Delete All Recordings." If you want to give yourself that extra piece of mind, pick "All History" and everything Alexa has ever stored on your device will be deleted.
As one reporter for the WP discovered, Alexa had been recording his family's conversations for four years which enabled him to create an entire song out of Alexa's collections.
Many smart-phone owners don’t realize it, but it's not just Amazon that keeps a copy of everything Alexa records after it hears its name. Apple’s Siri, and until recently Google’s Assistant all record your questions, queries and conversations.
So maybe next time you go to ask for the best route home, ask your friend and not Alexa.
Main image by Photo by Andres Urena