(Pocket-lint) - Alexa is always listening. Listening for that trigger word or anything that sounds remotely like it, so that it can spring to life and serve up an action or answer.
Why does Alexa save recordings?
Amazon says that Alexa saves recordings to make the experience better, to improve the accuracy of the results. Presumably it uses these recordings to learn about how you speak and the sort of things that you ask for - and does warn that if you delete them it could degrade the Alexa experience.
Alexa is only recording when you see the blue light - but that might also mean it records things you don't intend it to.
How to delete your voice data from Alexa
Fortunately, deleting these voice recordings is easy if you don't want Alexa hanging on to them for whatever reason. You can access your data - and play recordings back - from the Alexa app, as well as delete recordings via voice. That's all the correct things Alexa has heard, as well as other triggers marked as "Text not available", which is where the voice wasn't intended for Alexa, but was recorded anyway.
Here's how to find and delete voice data:
- Open the Alexa app.
- Tap on More on the bottom bar and then tap Settings on the list.
- Tap on Alexa Privacy.
- Once that has opened, tap Review Voice History.
- This then opens the history of Alexa requests - including all the recordings that you can play back. If you want to delete a particular recording, you can find it and delete it. You can also select by date range, including all history, and then delete those recordings.
If the above method won't let you purge it all in one go - there is another easy way to do that.
- Open a browser and head to the Manage your Amazon Content and Devices section. You can find it at http://www.amazon.com/mycd
- On the banner click on Privacy Settings, then Alexa Privacy.
- Click on Review Voice History. On this next page you'll see a drop-down menu. Select "All history".
- Now you're looking at all your Alexa voice data and there's a big blue link you can click. You'll get a pop-up warning. You'll have to confirm that you want to delete everything.
How to automatically delete recordings
There's also the option to automatically delete your voice recordings. This will let you choose between saving nothing, saving for 3 months, saving for 18 months and saving forever. These options can be access through the Alexa app in the Alexa Privacy area, but under the Manage Your Alexa Data section.
How to delete Alexa voice data via voice command
To make it easier to manage your recorded voice data, you don't have to use the Alexa app - as there are increasing options to delete those recordings via a voice command to Alexa. In the settings above to manage your voice recordings, you'll also find a toggle switch that will let you delete those recordings via voice. The accepted phrases are "Alexa, delete what I just said" and "Alexa, delete everything I said today", although Amazon is also extending this to include "Alexa, delete everything I've ever said", although this function isn't yet available.
The toggle in the settings app is there to ensure that other people can't delete all your voice recordings without you knowing about it. If you haven't turned it on and you ask Alexa to delete your voice recordings, you'll be advised how to do that.