Echo and Alexa record and file a huge number of requests on a daily basis. Although they are generally very safe, some users are concerned about their privacy. Due to minor privacy concerns, some users have begun to wonder how to delete the history and recordings of the Echo item.
AMAZON AND VOICE RECORDINGS
Amazon has acquired a lot of bad reputation over the years due to its policy of collecting user voice recordings. Similar to Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant, Alexa records and stores everything that was said after the startup phrase (most commonly, it’s just “Alexa”).
On the one hand, there has been speculation that Amazon keeps records longer than it should. On the other hand, Amazon officials are firmly convinced that Amazon itself is using registrations to improve Alexa’s user experience and performance.
However, after Alexa accidentally sent a private family conversation to a stranger, the pressure on Amazon has increased to protect the privacy of Alexa and Echo users. Concerned and dissatisfied users have also asked for more control over the recordings.
In the past, Alexa users were not allowed to completely and permanently delete their records. However, Amazon is making progress in this field. Eventually, after years of pressure, Amazon has launched two voice commands that will give users more control over Alexa’s recordings. The solution is far from perfect, but it is a start.
DELETE THROUGH VOICE
As mentioned, Amazon has recently implemented two vocal options to eliminate the Echo request history. The first is “Alexa, eliminate everything I said today” and the other is “Alexa, eliminate what I just said.”
Although they still don’t allow you to delete all Echo records, they are certainly a step in the positive direction. But to be able to delete recent recordings with voice commands, you need to enable this feature in your Alexa app. Here’s how to enable voice cancellation:
- Start the Alexa app on your tablet or smartphone.
- Open the main menu and go to Settings.
- Then, choose Alexa Account.
- Select the Alexa Privacy tab.
- Go to Review Voice History.
- In the Review voice history section, there is the option “Enable voice elimination”. Touch the on/off cursor to activate it.
- Confirm your choice by tapping the Enable button.
DELETE RECORDINGS THROUGH THE APP
You can also delete your recordings via the official Alexa app. They will be deleted from the app and will not be available if the smartphone falls into the wrong hands. However, there is no guarantee that the recordings or their transcripts will actually be deleted from all Amazon servers.
Here’s how to delete voice recordings via the Alexa app:
- Start Alexa on your smartphone.
- Tap the Menu button.
- When the sidebar opens, go to Settings.
- Choose your Alexa account.
- Next, you need to select the History tab. All your voice recordings are there.
- Choose a recording you want to delete.
- Tap the Delete voice recording button.
NOTE: you will have to delete the voice recordings one by one, as it is not possible to delete them all.
Alexa also lets you listen to your voice recordings. If you want to listen to them, here’s how to find them:
- Launch the Alexa app from the Home screen of your smartphone or tablet.
- Go to the Settings menu.
- There, enter your Alexa account.
- Then, go to Alexa’s Privacy section on the menu.
- Go to Review Voice History. There, you’ll see a list of your voice recordings.
- Select the file you want to listen to and press the Play button.
You can also use the Echo app to delete the voice history. Here’s how it works:
- Launch the Echo app on your smartphone or tablet.
- Go to the settings.
- Select the Alexa Account tab.
- Go to the Alexa Privacy submenu.
- Finally, go to Review Voice History. There, you will get a list of requests and registrations made since the last cancellation. If you haven’t deleted anything from the app’s configuration, all the history will be there. Select the registration you want to delete.
- Tap Delete.
- If you want to delete all the requests you’ve made that day, you should choose the option Delete all registrations for today.
Although not perfect, the last option allows you to delete all recordings made from midnight the night before. Alexa will continue to register immediately after completing the elimination process.
DELETE THROUGH AMAZON
If you are really worried about your recordings and want a more complete solution, you should delete them via Amazon’s Alexa Privacy Hub. In this way, you will be able to delete all your recordings simultaneously.
Amazon has launched the Alexa Security Hub as a place where Echo and Alexa users can learn to manage the privacy of apps and devices and find out what happens with their recordings.
If you still want to delete Echo’s timeline, here’s how.
- Start the browser and go to Alexa Privacy Hub.
- Click on the Privacy Settings tab.
- Scroll down and click on the “Manage smart home device history” link.
- Log in with your Amazon account credentials.
- So switch to your devices.
- Browse the list and find your Eco. Select it
- Then click on the option Delete voice recordings.
- Amazon will warn you that you are about to delete all your recordings and you will see a message explaining why it might not be a good idea. If you are sure you want to delete the recordings, click on the Delete button.
This method does not guarantee that Amazon will also delete transcripts of your records from all its databases. If you want them removed, you will need to call Amazon’s customer service and submit a formal cancellation request.
YOUR REGISTRATIONS, YOUR DECISION
Deciding whether to delete or preserve the voice recordings made by Echo is not an easy choice. On the one hand, Alexa learns from your requests and adapts to you. On the other hand, there is the possibility that your recordings end up in the wrong hands.
What is your position with Echo’s voice recordings? Do you think they should be canceled or stored? Share your thoughts in the comments below.