Alexa can now delete your recorded voice commands, but Amazon hasn't made it easy


Alexa in the kitchen

  • Amazon said it is introducing a new feature on all its Alexa-enabled devices that will allow users to delete recordings.
  • It announced this new feature during the unveiling of its Echo Show 5 on Wednesday.
  • But Gizmodo pointed out that the feature is not as straightforward as it sounds. Firstly, the deleting process is limited to one day of recordings and secondly, you would need to opt-in to use it.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Amazon announced Wednesday (during the unveiling of its new Echo Show 5) that it is introducing a new and easier way to delete voice recordings on all of its Alexa devices.

It explained online that customers only need say, “Alexa, delete everything I said today,” and the recording will be deleted.

This new feature is good news for any customers who had concerns over how their data is used by Amazon. The retailer has been called out by customers in the past over privacy concerns with its Alexa devices.

Some users found that their personal conversations had been recorded and then forwarded on to friends in error. And in April, Bloomberg reported that Amazon workers had been listening back to recordings and mocking them online.

But it’s not straightforward…

Gizmodo was quick to point out, however, that Amazon’s new privacy tool is not quite as straightforward as it sounds — i.e. just shouting out a command at your Alexa device.

Firstly, users are required to opt-in to the service. To do so, they need to go through a five-stage process on the Alexa app.

Read more: Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids Edition is illegally recording your children, 19 privacy advocates warn

A spokesperson for Amazon did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. In a statement to Gizmodo, Amazon said that the opt-in feature is in place so that customers can prevent any “unintended deletions from others with access to the device.”

As Gizmodo points out, it’s not entirely clear why this would be more beneficial to the customer than being able to protect their privacy.

Moreover, when you request for a recording to be deleted, it will delete everything that you have recorded in that day – up to that point and not after, so it is not necessarily a full 24-hours. There is currently no method to wipe all the recordings from the device.

SEE ALSO: Amazon just unveiled a new Echo with a screen that costs $90 and has a built-in camera cover

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This London handbag company has recycled 175 tons of fire hoses into fashion accessories