Recently, Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant have faced pushback for collecting and reviewing recordings to improve AI performance. All three are taking steps to update their policies and privacy settings.
In the meantime, here’s how to stop your smart device from keeping and/or reviewing your recordings:
This month, Amazon updated their policy by allowing users to opt in/out of recording reviews. The Alexa Data Services team currently reviews 1% of recordings, and all remain anonymous.
To access or delete existing recordings:
- In your Alexa app or Amazon account, go to Settings > Alexa privacy
- From here, you can listen to recordings or choose to delete them
To opt out of sending Alexa recordings to Amazon for review:
- Go to the Alexa Privacy settings page on the Amazon website
- Click the box: “Manage How Your Data Improves Alexa”
- Turn off “Help Improve Amazon Services and Develop New Features”
- Turn off “Use Messages to Improve Transcriptions”
This month, Apple suspended recording review. Future software updates are said to contain an opt out feature for Siri users. If you want recording to cease, you can stop using Siri or delete your Apple account. Other than that, there’s no way to stop it for now.
To disable Siri on iOS 11+:
- Go to Settings > Siri & Search
- Turn off “Listen for ‘Hey Siri’”
- Turn off “Press Slide Button for Siri”
- Confirm you want to “Turn Off Siri”
To disable recording of dictations:
- Go to Settings > General > Keyboard
- Turn off “Enable Dictation”
Google is said to only review 0.2% of recordings, and they remain anonymous. Google disables voice recordings by default and users must choose store recordings.
To confirm your recordings are disabled:
- Go to the Google Activity Page
- Scroll down to “Voice & Audio Activity.” If it says “paused,” it’s disabled already. If not, disable with the blue slider.
- Go to “Manage Activity”
- You can use the search bar to find recordings by date or keywords. You can delete any of them here.
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