Yes, Alexa is listening to you all the time, but now you have a way to wipe the slate clean every day. Amazon announced a new Alexa feature, that's already available, which allows you to command the voice assistant to delete a recent comment. You can say, "Alexa, delete everything I said today."
That won't help you with past recordings, which you will still have to remove manually. However, Amazon said the company will continue to make changes in the feature, which one day may allow you to tell Alexa to wipe out all old recordings. The delete feature will migrate to other Alexa-enabled devices.
The new Alexa feature was announced as Amazon introduced its latest product, the Echo Show 5, which also takes privacy seriously.
Enabling the delete recording feature on Alexa
To use the new Alexa feature, you have to enable it on your device. Using your app, go to Settings >> Alexa Account >> Alexa Privacy >> Review Voice History and slide the toggle to the right that says "Enable deletion by voice."
If you want to use the website, go to amazon.com/alexaprivacysettings and once again slide the toggle.
Amazon said it will listen to customer feedback as it continues to develop the delete recording feature. One feature many Alexa users will likely ask for is the option to delete all old recordings with one simple voice command.
Currently, Alexa users have to remove old recordings manually. Here are the steps to delete individual recordings:
- Open the Alexa app and go into the "Settings" section.
- Select "Alexa Account" and then "History" and you'll see a list of all the entries.
- Select an entry and tap the Delete button.
If you want to delete all the recordings with a single click, visit the "Manage Your Content and Devices" page at amazon.com/mycd. Amazon warns that "deleting voice recordings may degrade your Alexa experience." That means the artificial intelligence that personalizes Alexa won't be as helpful because its ability to learn from your commands will diminish.
To delete all recordings through your Alexa app, tap Settings >> Alexa Account >> Alexa Privacy >> Review Voice History. On this page, you'll see a drop-down menu under Date Range with a default setting of Today. Tap on that menu and change Today to All History. Then, tap on Delete All Recordings for All History, which you'll see under the drop-down menu.
That's it, the entire history of voice recordings is now gone.
The changes to Alexa and other Amazon devices are part of the company's new Alexa Privacy Hub that allows consumers to learn how to control what their various Alexa-enabled devices can hear and see.
New Echo Show 5 comes with privacy features
Unlike the Echo and Echo Dot, Echo Show devices have a screen with speakers that allow you to view what's going on in rooms with other Alexa-enabled devices that have screens. You can also hold video conversations using Skype.
Well, that was what the older versions of Echo Show could do. The new Echo Show 5 comes with a number of features that set it apart from the older models.
The Echo Show 5 is more compact than its predecessors. It has a 5.5-inch display, better sound, an HD camera, and a built-in camera shutter. It still monitors rooms with other Alexa-enabled devices, but consumers wanted more and Amazon listened.
The device comes with a new smart home dashboard that connects with other compatible home devices by saying commands. You can also use on-screen controls to manage other smart devices in the home.
With the Echo Show 5, you can watch music videos from Vevo or listen to music from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora and more. You can watch shows from NBC and Prime Video, or short news clips from Reuters, CNN and more. Amazon said it is working on integrating with wikiHow so you can access hundreds of how-to videos.
Keeping privacy in mind, Amazon touts that "Echo devices are built with multiple layers of privacy protections." The device has an off button that electronically disconnects both the microphone and camera.
It also has a clear visual indicator that shows when audio or video is streaming to the cloud. In addition, Echo Show 5 has a built-in camera shutter to easily cover the camera while still allowing you to talk to Alexa.
25 most useful Alexa skills you'll use time and again
Like other virtual assistants, Amazon's Alexa can provide you with basic information and features such as listening to music, checking the weather and setting timers for completing a task. But to expand Alexa's knowledge, you have to enable apps or skills. The goal is to make Alexa more personalized for its users.