How to delete your Amazon Alexa voice history

Alexa, forget I just said that

How to delete your voice data from Alexa

When you bring a smart speaker into your home, you’re offering up all sorts of personal data to Amazon, Google and others. But luckily, you can delete your Alexa voice recordings.

Here at The Ambient, we’re excited about the future of voice-controlled apartments and houses but we’re also into helping people manage their smart home data.

Get connected: Best Alexa compatible devices

Sound like the kind of chore you’d rather get an AI assistant to do? Sorry, kids, this one requires your very human attention. You will no doubt have all sorts of reasons to want to delete your interactions with Alexa - we’re not going to pry - but remember that part of the voice assistant’s power and usefulness comes from what it learns about you.

So unless you’re giving Echo the boot, you’re essentially making the service less useful.

How to view and delete Alexa voice recordings

Amazon makes it a little tricky, though not impossible, to view, manage and delete voice recordings from its Alexa service.

Individual recordings

The best way to deal with your data is via the Alexa app. Here, hit the three dashes at the top left of the home screen, then go to Settings > Alexa Account > History.

You are presented with a list of interactions which you can view as transcripts (showing your commands/questions and Alexa's responses). Tap on the command and you can either play the recording and see the date and time the command was issued.

Below that, there's a button named Delete voice recording, which does exactly that. Tap it and the recording will be removed from the list.

It’s not that surprising to find conversations that were not intended for Alexa when you're trawling through the list. Echo speakers also store a few seconds before the wake up command too, remember.

Your entire history

To delete your entire history of Alexa interactions, go to Manage Your Content and Devices on Amazon’s website, while logged in.

You can then find the smart speaker you own, and click the three dots to open up a list of options: Deregister, Delete voice recordings and Delete location history.

Clicking the second option will allow you to wipe the memory - but not before Amazon implores you to reconsider, highlighting the need for recordings to learn more about your likes and dislikes. You can’t listen to or view interactions here, just delete them if you so wish.

How to delete your Amazon Alexa voice history

Can I delete Alexa voice recordings entirely?

It’s worth noting that there's no guarantee this permanently removes the recordings from Amazon's own servers, and not just the individual’s account log. Amazon has actually been under fire for this, after it admitted that deleted data isn't removed from all Alexa subsystems (but says it's wiped from most).

The company said it's working on a way to permanently wipe the information, but that might not be enough to put you at ease.

In summer 2017, it was reported that Amazon was considering sharing transcripts with third party Alexa Skill developers.

Ultimately, we’d like to see more transparency from Amazon as well as a voice search equivalent to Google’s Right To Be Forgotten request.

The person talking in their own home is allowing Amazon access to their data, for advertising and other commercial purposes, that’s a given - but who is to say this should be forever?

Can other people access/delete my Alexa conversations?

Good question. Anyone with your Amazon password can access your audio logs via the website or the Alexa app. On desktop, it looks like they would only be able to bulk delete all recordings - not view/listen to them.

As we discussed above, delete all is the only action currently presented. If someone else got hold of your phone or signs in to the Alexa app with your credentials, though, this would in theory allow them to view your Alexa history, press play on interactions to listen and delete individual recordings.

More Amazon Alexa how-tos

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