How to uncover your Alexa recordings – and delete them

Amazon’s smart speaker is back in the news this week following an intriguing BBC investigation into the mighty tech giant.

In a Panorama special, ex-Amazon exec Robert Fredrick admitted that he switches the Alexa speaker off when he wants to have a ‘private’ moment. That’s because Amazon analyses recordings made by Alexa in order to tweak the gadget’s functionality.

What many people may not realise is there’s a way to access any recordings the speaker may have made of your conversations. And, if you want to, you can delete them.

The option lurks in the Alexa app, so you’ll need to open that on either your iOS or Android phone or tablet.

From there, tap the menu bar in the left-hand side and click through to Settings.

Next, tap on ‘Alexa Privacy’ and you’ll find an option called ‘Review Voice History’.

This will display all the voice recordings that Alexa has – and also any instances when Alexa has picked up something that wasn’t meant for her. If you’ve got an Alex or Alexandria in your family, this kind of thing may be well known to you.

How to delete Alexa’s voice recordings

Once you’ve found the recordings, deleting them is a straightforward process.

All you need to do is select the tick box next to each one and hit the ‘Delete Selected Recordings’ option at the top of the list. If you’d rather bulk-delete, you can make a selection like ‘This Week’ or ‘All History’ and hit ‘Delete All Recordings’.

And it wouldn’t be Alexa if you couldn’t issue that command by voice. If you want, you can toggle the option to delete recordings with your voice. All you need to do is say ‘Alexa, delete what I just said’ or ‘Alexa, delete everything I said today’ to have your history wiped.

While nobody likes the idea of having people listen to recordings of your conversations, bear in mind that Alexa improves its performance based on how you use it.

So if you make a habit of deleting all your voice recordings then you’ll have greater privacy but you may also find the gadget doesn’t work as well as you want it to.

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