Amazon Alexa now allowing opt-out of people ‘reviewing’ your recordings

With regulators starting to breath down the necks of tech companies, they have started to adjust their practices in order to appease the masses and new regulations targeting data privacy policy. First Apple and Google, now Amazon will allow customers of Amazon Alexa enabled devices to opt out of voice recordings, to an extent.

According to the Seattle based giant, Amazon Alexa will still need to record voices in order to learn and become better at understanding its customers. However, there will no longer be a human on the other end reviewing your conversations with the AI to confirm that Alexa did what was expected of it.

Read: Facebook renaming Instagram and WhatsApp for ‘transparency’

You will be able to go into the Amazon Alexa app and navigate to your settings, then “Alexa Privacy” and finally “Manage How Your Data Improves Alexa.” There you will find new policy toggle that you can turn off stating that “your voice recordings may be used to develop new features and manually reviewed to help improve our services.”

An Amazon Echo Spot smart speaker photographed on a kitchen counter, taken on January 9, 2019. (Photo by Olly Curtis/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

According to an Amazon spokesperson, “we take customer privacy seriously and continuously review our practices and procedures. For Alexa, we already offer customers the ability to opt-out of having their voice recordings used to help develop new Alexa features. The voice recordings from customers who use this opt-out are also excluded from our supervised learning workflows that involve manual review of an extremely small sample of Alexa requests. We’ll also be updating information we provide to customers to make our practices more clear.”

Read: Google paid people $5 to scan their faces

It was previously reported by other publications that you could switch recording off altogether, but the above statement clarifies, as previously mentioned, that it is only switching off manual reviewing of these recordings.

Most of this new pressure on tech companies comes from the EU, with US regulators lagging behind. It will be interesting to see how the business models of these companies are similar and different where the legislation is different around the world.

Do you own a digital assistant that records your conversations? Is this an area of concern for you? Let us know in the comments below.