Privacy concerns have always been linked to smart home devices and voice assistants and the like, and that, of course, includes Amazon and Alexa.
Things are getting worse by the day, it seems, according to a recent Bloomberg investigation that says Amazon employees are listening to users' conversations with Alexa. Fortunately, there's an easy way to stop it or, at the very least, limit what can be accessed.
How To Prevent Amazon From Listening To Alexa Recordings
Step 1: Open the Alexa app.
Step 2: Tap the menu button located in the upper-left corner of the screen.
Step 3: Tap on Settings > Alexa Account > Alexa Privacy.
Step 4: Once there, click on "Manage How Your Data Improves Alexa" and toggle "Help Develop New Features" to off.
That's pretty much all you have to do, but the thing is, this won't completely stop Amazon from listening to your recordings. As Bloomberg points out in its report, the company could still analyze the recordings of those who opt out of this program "by hand."
At that, your best bet is still to get rid of anything powered by Alexa, which might not be an option for some, especially how the virtual assistant has been drastically improving recently with handy features such as ordering from Ticketmaster and making health-related inquiries.
For The Sake Of Alexa's Improvement
The report says that Amazon workers listen to users' Alexa conversations and then transcribe and annotate them. After that, the company uses this information to improve Alexa and make it more capable of understanding and recognizing voice commands, but one issue here is that users aren't exactly informed of this practice.
Based on a screenshot Bloomberg managed to get ahold of, the recordings don't come with the users' full names and addresses, though. Instead, they only have an associated account number, the first name of the user, and the serial number of the device.