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Start the year knowing your Alexa privacy is where you want it

VoiceBrew Alexa privacy checklist:


#1. Understand how to delete recordings of your Alexa voice commands. You can say "Alexa, delete what I just said" or "Alexa, delete everything I said today." You can also auto-delete recordings of your Alexa interactions after a set amount of time or easily delete specific time periods in the Alexa app.

#2. Make sure only essential third party skills can access your data. Don't use that weather skill anymore? Remove its access to your address and other info.

#3. Make a decision on whether you are okay with having your data used to improve Alexa. You can choose to opt out, which will also mean you opt out of having any human review your Alexa recordings. According to Amazon, new features may not work as well for you, but it's great that you have this option.

#4. If Alexa unexpectedly wakes up, you can ask her why. Just say "Alexa, tell me what you heard." Alexa will respond by telling you what she thought you said. Sometimes, she'll even explain her "thought process" -- that she mistakenly thought she heard her name but realized it was a false alarm.

Pro Tip: For more privacy tips, check out VoiceBrew's comprehensive guide to Alexa privacy.


Wondering why Alexa needs to record you at all?

In order to process what you have asked for when you say “Alexa, what’s the weather?” and give you a helpful response, Alexa needs to send what you said to the Amazon cloud. That’s where the actual analysis -- taking your voice recording’s sound waves and figuring out a response -- happens.

Amazon's plan for Alexa to be your omnipresent companion

According to this thought-provoking article, Alexa is in the midst of moving from passive interactions with users toward a state in which she can anticipate what you want and act as a helpful companion. Amazon executives have demo'd a new feature, Alexa Conversations, which could, for example, anticipate that you might need a dinner reservation and an Uber if you asked Alexa to help book movie tickets -- this represents an early step toward the ultimate "reliable companion" goal. In order for this to happen, Alexa will need to know us better than ever before.

While I'm excited for this new world (and could very well use a reliable omnipresent assistant anticipating my needs!), it's important to recognize that it will be more important than ever for users to understand what they are sharing with Alexa and how to make adjustments. Tap/click here to read more.
If you have questions or ideas, I'd love to hear from you. Reply to this email or get in touch at kp@voicebrew.com. Thanks for being a subscriber to VoiceBrew!
Katherine Prescott
Founder, VoiceBrew
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