Last Updated on March 13, 2020
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Privacy in the smart home is a hot topic as users are increasingly interested in the data recorded and stored by businesses and voice assistants such as Google Assistant and Alexa.
Fortunately, despite the fact that Google and Amazon record your voice data when you wake up, you have considerable control over what is stored. And this guide describes in detail how to view, listen to, and delete recordings from Google Assistant and Alexa.
Of course, Google needs some personal information to make its range of smart speakers more useful, but below is a step-by-step guide to understanding exactly what you can and can’t control.
How to Automatically Delete your Alexa Voice Recordings
This function is disabled by default.
- Open the Alexa application
- Go to the parameters menu
- Select Settings, then select Alexa Privacy.
- Select Manage your Alexa data.
- Go to Delete records automatically and select Off to enable the setting.
- Select a period of time to keep your voice recordings, then select Confirm.
- Voice recordings prior to the selected period are automatically deleted.
Voice recordings are used to improve the accuracy of your interactions with Alexa. Deleting voice recordings associated with your account may degrade your experience over time.
How to delete your Google Assistant voice recordings automatically
If you don’t want to continue manually deleting records from the Google Wizard, you can also choose to have your activity deleted automatically.
- Go to the Google Home application.
- Tap your icon in the upper right corner, and select My Activity.
- Before you start streaming recordings, tap the Automatically delete option.
- The default setting is to keep the data until you delete it, but you can choose to keep it for 18 months or 3 months before it automatically disappears.
Deleting recordings with your voice
Using the Google Home application is one way to manually delete your records, but you can now zap them by simply talking to your device.
After an automatic update (which is now available in English and will be translated into other languages next November), users can ask the wizard to delete their history with commands like “Hey Google, delete the last thing I just told you” or “Hey Google, delete everything I told you last week”.
Are there any drawbacks to regularly deleting your Alexa and Google Voice Wizard recordings? Amazon and Google say that saved voice recordings help increase the accuracy and relevance of the voice assistant responses. Amazon warns that deleting too many voice recordings could “make your experience worse”.
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