Having often come under scrutiny for the alleged privacy failings of its Alexa voice assistant, Amazon on Wednesday announced new privacy features that it says will offer users more control over how their private data is stored online. As part of the plan, users will now be able to choose whether or not to save their Alexa voice recordings. They can set their preference via the Alexa app or by visiting Alexa Privacy Settings online.
If a user chooses not to save their voice recordings, they will be automatically deleted after Alexa processes their request. All previously saved recordings will also be deleted. Users will still be able to review the transcripts of their conversations with Alexa for 30 days before the recordings are deleted for good. During this period, they will be still able to delete them manually from their Alexa account.
Amazon is also making it simpler to delete all Alexa recordings via voice commands. For example, users can now delete all saved voice recordings associated with their account by simply saying: “Alexa, delete everything I’ve said”. This is addition to the existing voice commands – “Alexa, delete what I just said” and “Alexa, delete everything I said today” – that allow users to delete their recent recording history.
Users can now also review their privacy settings simply by asking: “Alexa, how do I review my privacy settings?”. In that case, Amazon will send a direct link within the Alexa app for their personal Privacy Settings page, where users can learn more about Alexa’s privacy features and make changes to their privacy settings if needed.
Amazon also said it will announce more Alexa features in the future while putting user privacy front and center. “Because privacy is foundational to everything we do, we’re committed to inventing new useful experiences, while protecting your privacy and providing the controls that are most relevant to you”, the company said.