You lot don’t have to search very difficult to find nightmare stories of Amazon Repeat and Alexa devices breaching privacy and recording what they shouldn’t. In the worse cases, human screeners even listened to conversations.
Amazon says that the data it collects is designed to assist it improve the service, but that probably doesn’t brand you feel any better. Fortunately, you can manage your Alexa privacy settings to take dorsum control. Hither’s what yous need to know. Every bit e’er, for true protection we as well recommend whatever privacy conscious buyer use a VPN wherever possible to protect their data. You lot can encounter a listing of the best VPNs nosotros’ve tested in the attached guide.
Find your privacy settings
Alexa privacy settings are available through a web browser and the Alexa app (Settings, Alexa Privacy). I find it easiest to use the spider web browser version, although it’southward a piddling tricky to get to the setting. Open a browser and go to Amazon, then hover the Accounts & Lists carte (summit left) and select Manage Your Content and Devices. At present click Privacy Settings in the tertiary card console from the top, and select Alexa Privacy.
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See what Alexa is recording
Click Review Voice History and so yous employ the filters to select which (or all) devices you want to review recordings from, such as your Echo Show 10, and the review menses: Today, Yesterday, Last 7 days, Last xxx days, All History or Custom. You’ll be quite surprised at how far back recordings can become: I had some from more than 2 years ago.
Yous can curlicue through the list to see what Alexa has recorded. Use your browser’south find feature (CTRL+F or APPLE+F) to search the list for words that you might non want Alexa to accept picked upwardly on, such as ‘doctor’ or ‘appointment’.
In the listing, you may see some entries that say ‘Audio was not intended for Alexa’. These are instances when Alexa has thought it’s heard the trigger discussion and has started to record audio.
For an entry, you can click the down arrow, and so hit the play button to review the sound that was recorded. It’south typically merely a brusk burst of sound. Click Delete recording to remove that recording forever.
At the top of the list, there’s an pick to Delete everything in the current list. To delete all recordings forever, select All History and then Delete all of my recordings.
Manage your vocalism recordings
Having to remember to get in delete your voice recordings is too abrasive, but Amazon provides the tools y’all need to manage how and when recordings are deleted. Click Manage Your Alexa Data. The offset option at the summit is Vocalization recordings.
Go out the pick Enable deletion by voice turned on. On any Alexa device, you can say ‘Alexa, delete what I just said’ or ‘Alexa, delete everything I said today’. Yous can even tell Alexa to delete everything. You’ll get a warning that if you exercise delete everything, Alexa may have problems agreement you.
Select the Choose how long to save recordings choice to customise how long recordings volition be kept for. The default is to Salve recordings until I delete them, but you can choose 18 months, 3 months or not to salve recordings at all. Again, there’s a big warning telling you that non saving recordings tin crusade problems. If you don’t salve whatsoever vocalism recordings, Alexa will also delete voice profiles that give you customised data when y’all ask. We selection the three months option equally a expert compromise.
Manage smart home device history
Alexa too stores data about how your smart devices have been used. The data is there to assist Alexa empathise how people utilise smart devices. You tin click the Review smart home devices history to view the final 30 days of control.
The One-off deletion of all history option clears everything. Before you practise that, you lot might want to click Electronic mail complete history, which sends you everything Alexa knows near your smart home use, plus some insights.
Finally, yous tin adjust how long Amazon stores data for. Click Choose how long to relieve history, so choice the option that you want. There’s no option to not save history at all, so 3 months is the minimum choice.
Manage detected sounds history
In the Usa, only not the UK, Alexa Guard can be used to listen out for breaking glass or alarms. In the UK, you won’t take any history, just the characteristic may get enabled in the time to come. Here, you tin can choose how long to save history for, with the minimum being three months.
Manage how Alexa uses your data
The final privacy department is Help improve Alexa. These are settings that let Amazon to utilise your data to better its service, including manual review (Amazon says that only “an extremely modest fraction of voice recordings are manually reviewed”). Turn the slider off to prevent any of your recordings existence used this way.
Next, Amazon has permission sliders for each person in your firm, allowing them to utilise any messages you ship to ameliorate transcription. Turn off the permissions for any accounts that you don’t want to be involved in this.
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Manage Alexa Skill permissions
Alexa gives you lot more than detailed control over the permissions you grant to skills. Click or tap ‘Manage Skill Permissions’ (again, in the app you might need to tap ‘Menu’ first) and you’ll come across a list of the available permissions, and whether y’all’ve granted them to any apps. Scroll down this list to check that you’re not providing data you’re unaware of or uncomfortable with. For example, yous might non want to let some apps access to your mobile number or email accost.
For each data blazon, you’ll see a summary of whether any skills have access. Tap the downward chevron to aggrandize the box and see the details. You can revoke a skill’s permission to any data type by clicking the slider, and selecting Ostend. Information technology may be that you’re concerned well-nigh the permissions y’all’ve granted to a specific skill. In this case, tap or click the chevron in the ‘Filter by skill:’ header and tick the skill yous want to review. Now yous tin encounter at a glance which permissions it has.
Recall that revoking skills’ permissions may terminate them from working. If yous don’t trust a skill, or you don’t want to apply it anymore, disable it by opening the Alexa app on your phone, and then tapping More and so Skills & Games. Tap the Your Skills heading, select the skill, tap Disable Skill, and then click Disable to confirm.
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