How to manage your Alexa voice recordings and privacy
You can view and delete your past Alexa recordings to preserve your privacy. Lance Whitney shows you how.
If you use an Echo device at home or at work, you’ve likely had a lot of conversations with Alexa. Perhaps you’d like to review those conversations to find mistakes that Alexa has made, rate the accuracy of Alexa’s responses or remove any recordings that may be sensitive.
You can see and manage your entire recording history with Alexa via Amazon’s Alexa Privacy page. Here, you’re able to review your voice history, detected sounds and Alexa data and then decide what to remove if you have privacy concerns. Here’s how it works.
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Browse to the Alexa Privacy page. Sign in with your Amazon account if you’re not already signed in. The overview page displays five different categories: Review Voice History, Review History of Detected Sounds, Review Smart Home Device History, Manage Skill Permissions and Manage Your Alexa Data (Figure A).
Click the category for Review Voice History. By default, this page shows all your voice recordings with Alexa for today across all your Echo devices and profiles. Scroll through the list and click the down arrow for any recording you wish to review. You can grade the accuracy of Alexa’s response by giving a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to tell Amazon whether Alexa did what you wanted. And if you don’t want Amazon to keep the recording, click the option for Delete Recording or Delete Transcript (Figure B).
You can remove all of today’s recordings. Click the link at the top for Delete All Recordings From Today. To expand or narrow the search, click the down arrow at the top next to Today, All Devices and Profiles. Select the entry for Filter By Date and change it to a different time frame, such as Yesterday, the Last 7 Days, the Last 30 Days, All History or a custom range. Next, click the down arrow for All Devices and profiles and change the filter to a specific Echo device or a specific profile. You can then review the new results (Figure C).
Next, select the category for Review History of Detected Sounds. This page provides a list of all sounds that Alexa has detected, including smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and glass breaking. Click the specific sound you want to review. To hear the sound, click the Play button. To remove the sound, click the link for Delete Recording (Figure D).
At the top of the screen, click the link for Delete All Of My Recordings to remove them all. Click the link for All History and change the filter to a different time frame (Figure E).
Next, select the category for Review Smart Home Device History. Here, you can see your interactions with smart home devices compatible with Alexa. Click the specific timeframe to review your interactions for that date. Here, you can only view the data; you can’t delete it (Figure F).
Select the category for Manage Skill Permissions. At this page, you can view and delete any permissions you’ve granted to different Alexa skills. By default, the page shows you all skills. Click the arrow next to All Skills if you want to filter the results to only a specific skill. In this case, you can select more than one skill. Scroll down the list to view the different types of content for which you gave a skill permission to access. Click a specific type of content and you can enable or disable the ability of a specific skill to access that information (Figure G).
Finally, select the category for Manage Your Alexa Data. Under Voice Recordings, you can give yourself the ability to delete recordings by saying: “Alexa, delete what I just said” or “Alexa, delete everything I said today.” You can also choose how long you’d like Amazon to save your voice recordings (Figure H).
Under Smart Home Device History, you can choose how long Amazon can save your history, delete your own history and receive an email of your complete history (Figure I).
Under Detected Sounds History, you can determine how long Amazon can save your detected sounds (Figure J).
And under Help Improve Alexa, you can disable Amazon’s ability to use your voice recordings to develop new features or improve its services. The company notes that an extremely small fraction of voice recordings are manually reviewed. You can also turn off the ability to use messages you send via Alexa to improve the accuracy of the transcriptions (Figure K).
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