11 October 2019
During its hardware event held on September 25, Amazon also announced its new efforts towards users’ privacy. There are new features announced that may bring more transparency to the users in letting them know how and where their voice queries are used. Updates to Alexa include the addition of “Alexa, tell me what you heard,” which rolls out today, and “Alexa, why did you do that?” this comes later this year.
Amazon is enabling Alexa everywhere, some of its new products announced during the event have all-day access to Alexa. In fact, they have been developed for the sole purpose of giving you quick access to just Alexa. So, this becomes crucial to have an even secured environment where everything is happening with just voice.
In April, it was reported that Amazon employees listen to what the users speak to the Alexa-enabled devices. The reason was similar to what Google mentioned when it was also caught doing the same act and this is about improving the experience, which makes sense but this also gives the right to the transcribers to access our recordings and use it for unfair means. Some of such shoddy cases came to notice as well. Recently, Google announced some updates to its Google Assistant and now Amazon has also made some updates to its Alexa voice assistant.
Amazon, however, also announced some features for the users back in May, following the outcry. It allowed users to be able to ask Alexa to delete everything they said. Users can say “Alexa, delete everything I said today,” or “Alexa, delete everything I just said” for a quick wipe.
Now, the latest features announced during the event offer more tools and aim to provide more transparency to the users in knowing their privacy concerns.
Together with them, Amazon is also bringing an auto-delete option for Alexa customers. The voice recordings older than three months up to 18 months can be automatically deleted if you opt in to have it done this way.