Amazon is introducing a new privacy feature that will let you delete Alexa recordings. The company and many other tech giants in Silicon Valley have come under growing criticism for how they deal with user data and privacy. But Amazon feels that the new privacy tools will fix this.
It also says that it intends to continue to “listen to customers” on how they can better enhance privacy. Before this new feature, Alexa users had to delete their verbal recordings manually through a third-party website. In essence, it was very complicated to delete Alexa recordings. Amazon also noted that a new privacy mode for its Ring security camera would be rolling out as well.
Increasing Privacy Concerns on Alexa
Several concerns have already been raised regarding how Amazon handles user privacy. In April this year, a report by Bloomberg News showed how Amazon had set up teams in centers around the world. These teams review samples of consumer voice recordings picked up by Alexa without their knowledge.
It looked like Alexa was doubling up as a listening device, transmitting people’s private conversations for analysis. What made this entire situation even more suspicious was that Amazon didn’t disclose that it was collecting and analyzing these recordings.
But it wasn’t just Amazon in the crossfire. Other major tech giants like Alphabet Inc, Google’s parent company, and Apple Inc. were reportedly conducting similar practices with user data. It’s not clear whether Amazon is still doing this.
However, according to Dave Limp, Amazon’s head of devices and services business, the company understands these concerns, and it’s doing whatever it can to put privacy at the forefront. The feature to automatically delete Alexa recordings is a good move forward.
How to Delete Amazon Voice Recordings
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New Smart Devices and Upgrades on Existing Ones
Speaking of devices, Amazon used the press conference announcing the new Alexa feature to showcase a lineup of upcoming devices. First, the retail giant announced that it’s releasing an upgraded model of the Echo Dot, one of its bestselling products. The new upgrade will feature a built-in visual clock and a high-end speaker.
This way, the Echo Dot will be able to rival Apple’s HomePod and other similar devices on the market. Amazon also noted that it would be adding a new 8-inch screen option for the Echo Show. Until now, the device was only available with a 5-inch and a 10-inch display. There was also a list of entirely new devices that were unveiled.
Amazon announced a new kitchen appliance for its customers. The new smart oven, which also comes with an air fryer, is the latest in a line of smart home devices by the company. The oven will retail for $249. Amazon wants to follow in the steps of the Alexa Microwave. This is another smart kitchen appliance that has become one of the most popular products on the e-commerce platform. The smart oven is also expected to come with Alexa integration and an Echo Dot.
Building an Ecosystem around Alexa
Amazon has managed to sell millions of its devices for one simple reason. These devices are easy to use and affordable. Analysts think that the profits generated are not enough to cover the production costs. But Amazon is looking at the long-term. If more and more people continue to use Alexa and its related devices, it means Amazon will have access to a huge customer base.
It can then use this access to market its streaming services, its Prime program, and any other addons that it may develop in the future. Besides, this may also inspire increased developer interest in building tools around Alexa. The ultimate goal, it seems, is to create a comprehensive Alexa ecosystem. This ecosystem will have a series of interconnected devices in every home. This will then open up the potential for long-term growth.
Amazon is already making very strong moves in the smart home industry, and Alexa will be at the center of all this. But the privacy issue remains delicate. In addition to the option to delete Alexa recordings, the company needs to do more to address the issue moving forward.
Drop us a comment below if you’re concerned about your privacy when using Alexa!