(NEXSTAR) – When you ask Alexa for the weather forecast, she’s not just listening – she’s recording.
Amazon fully admits its Echo devices (and the virtual assistant named Alexa that come with them) are recording your interactions every time they light up. Normally, that happens when you start off an inquiry or command by saying, “Alexa…” but it can also happen accidentally, when the device thinks you’re saying something to wake it up.
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Amazon says the recordings aren’t just for your benefit – they’re for everyone’s. Alexa can adapt to your voice over time so the device understands you better, and you could help the virtual assistant get better at learning different accents or speech patterns. Also, if the device stores your past conversations, you can refer back to them (i.e. “What is that song you played yesterday?”).
But if you don’t care about any of that, you have the option of deleting all those recordings. Here’s how you do it:
- Go to Alexa’s privacy settings
- Click “Review Voice History“
- There you can look at all the device’s voice recordings, sorted by either date or device
- Select the ones you’d like to delete (or all of them) and click “Delete Selected Recordings”
You can also do this in the Alexa app. Just go to “Settings,” then “Alexa Privacy” and “Review Voice History.”
If you’d like to set up your device to delete all recordings going forward, navigate back to “Alexa Privacy Settings,” then find “Manage Your Data.” Under the “Voice Recordings” section, you’ll have a choice to automatically delete recordings immediately, after three months, or after 18 months.
If you opt to automatically delete all recordings going forward, Amazon says the device will delete the recording of your voice once your interaction with Alexa ends.
For more detailed instructions, see Amazon’s website.