The job of a smart home assistant is to fulfill your needs as good as it can. To do this, it needs to learn more about you by recording some of your conversations. However, recent reports of Echo speakers powered by Amazon Alexa revealed the devices reacted to conversations when they shouldn’t have been listening, while others even sent recordings away without the user’s consent.
Echo speakers might accidentally eavesdrop on your conversations
Whenever you want to use Echo speakers to assist you, you need to utter a wake word and have them pay attention to your commands. However, this can easily go wrong. It’s pretty common for Amazon Alexa to mistake a random word from your conversations for its wake word and then start recording what you say.
This issue entered the spotlight due to some recent events related to Echo speakers who apparently malfunctioned. One user reported that, while they were having a conversation, the device suddenly started laughing although it wasn’t activated. The most worrying thing comes from a Portland family, as their home assistant recorded them without their knowledge and then sent this conversation to a friend.
How to find out if Alexa has recorded your words
If you have Echo speakers in your home too, there’s no need to be alarmed. It’s possible the device might have eavesdropped on your conversations, but you can find out if it did. All you have to do is check the Amazon Alexa app available on your smartphone. Here’s how to do it.
After opening the app, go to the left corner of the screen at the top. There, you’ll see an icon resembling a hamburger than opens the menu. From all the options available, choose Settings and, then, pick the History tab. This will show you all the commands you’ve ever given to Alexa.
Among all the possible searchers and wake words, you might also find some interesting entries. These will read “text not available” and, after selecting them, you’ll get recordings made by the Echo speakers after something determined them to pay attention to your conversations. In most cases, the device can tell when it doesn’t receive a command and stops listening.
You can also delete these recordings, both from your device and from Amazon. The company doesn’t recommend it, since it might disturb the assistance Alexa can offer you, but also doesn’t keep you from doing it.
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