By now you have probably learned that your Amazon Echo is listening to you and that Amazon keeps a record of everything that the device hears. According to the company, the recordings are an integral part of improving their range of smart speaker products. While this is all well and good, this is still a privacy concern. If you don’t want Amazon keeping tabs on everything you say, here’s how to delete Alexa history and stop her from recording you:
Does Alexa Really Listen to Everything You Say?
Yes, she does. We have covered this in a previous blog post. This has also been confirmed by representatives of the company. To protect your privacy, we suggest turning recording off and then deleting your recording history.
How to Turn Off Alexa Recording
Amazon Echo devices, by default, have recording turned on. When you say Alexa’s wake word, it will start recording. This is one of its many wonderful features, making interaction with the AI seamless and convenient. Of course, said feature comes with a downside. In this case, an issue related to your privacy.
Upon saying the wake word, Alexa will start recording and this data can be accessed by Amazon employees. According to an Amazon spokesperson, they listen in so that Alexa can improve her understanding of human speech. Don’t worry, there is a way to turn off these settings. Follow the steps below:
- Launch the Alexa app on your phone.
- Go to the menu button and select Settings. The menu button is the icon that looks like three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner.
- Tap Alexa Privacy.
- Go to “Manage how your data improves Alexa.”
- Toggle the buttons off next to “Help develop new features,” and “Use messages to improve transcriptions.”
When you toggle these options off, Alexa will give you a notification saying: “If you turn this off, new features may not work well for you.”
- Click Turn Off.
How to Delete Alexa History
If you have just turned off recordings, Amazon has a record of everything else you said to Alexa prior to today. To protect your privacy, follow the steps below on how to delete your Alexa history:
- Launch the Alexa app and go to menu.
- Select settings and tap on Alexa Privacy.
- Tap Review Voice History. You will see a list of commands you’ve said since you got your device.
- Select recordings to delete. To delete your entire history, click on the Date Range and select All History from the drop-down menu.
- Select delete All Recordings for All History.
Alexa will again give you a warning that deleting your history “may degrade your experience.”
- Click Yes.
How to Erase Alexa Recordings Via Browser
Another way to delete you Alexa recording is by using a web browser. Here are the steps how:
- Go to the Amazon Device and Content page on amazon.com/myx and sign in.
- Select the Devices tab. You will see the Devices tab at the top of the window under the search bar.From the list, find your device.
- Click on the box next to your device and then click Delete Voice Recordings. Click “Delete” again when prompted by the warning message.
How to Delete Alexa Recordings by Voice
Just because you deleted your previous voice recordings, that doesn’t mean Alexa will stop recording you.
You can also ask Alexa to delete your voice recordings without going into the Alexa app in the future. Here are the steps to enable these settings:
- Launch the Alexa app.
- Go to Menu > Settings.
- Tap on Alexa Privacy.
- Then tap Review Voice History.
- Toggle Enable deletion by voice on.
A pop-up will then tell you what commands to use to delete your recordings by voice.
- Click Enable.
There is a happy medium between enjoying the convenience that artificial intelligence offers and keeping your private conversations out of the hands of large corporations. If you rely on your Amazon Echo devices to get through the day, we suggest deleting your Alexa recordings often.
Want to learn other ways that you can protect yourself in today’s connected world? Read up on our other HelloTech security guides.