Many users of the popular Amazon Alexa voice assistants may not be aware that Amazon employees listen to device recordings — here’s how to disable that intrusion by strangers spread around the world.
Amazon Alexa recordings can be accessed by employees at Amazon with the aim of improving the voice assistant’s vocal recognition algorithm. Amazon tells users that this helps to improve Alexa’s various skills and features, but many users are likely uncomfortable with the idea of Amazon employees listening to their recorded comments, which in some cases include singing in the shower.
The collected recordings don’t include a user’s full name and address, but employees can see a user’s account number, first name, and device serial number. Employees at Amazon reportedly listen to up to 1,000 recordings per day and can share funny or amusing recordings through employee chat rooms. So here’s how to easily disable the setting that sends user’s voice recordings to Amazon.
1: In the Alexa app, click the Settings button at the bottom of the menu
2: At the next menu, select Alexa Account at the top of the menu:
3: From here select the Alexa Privacy setting:
4: On the next page, click the option titled “Manage How Your Data Improves Alexa”
5: Finally, uncheck the two boxes available on this page, “Help Develop New Features,” and “Use Messages to Improve Transcriptions”
Once done, your Alexa device will no longer send recordings to Amazon to improve the device’s voice recognition ability. Alternatively, Amazon users could opt not to give the company access to a microphone directly in their home whatsoever by not buying an Alexa device.