Amazon is making it a little bit easier to delete Alexa recordings today with a pair of new voice commands. You’ll now be able to say, “Alexa, delete everything I said today,” and the assistant will wipe all of the recordings it stores on Amazon’s servers. Amazon says another command, “Alexa, delete what I just said,” is in the works as well.
Until now, you’ve either had to go into the app to delete Alexa recordings one by one, or you’ve had to go through Amazon’s website in order to delete every recording at once. Amazon stores recordings of every request you’ve made to an Alexa device (theoretically, to help improve the voice recognition service and other features). Despite this being largely unnecessary, Amazon doesn’t provide a way to disable the long-term storage of voice recordings or have them deleted on a regular basis, as Google has done with some sensitive data.
Amazon still won’t let you disable the storage of voice recordings
The features come as Amazon faces down Alexa privacy concerns, particularly around children. Advocacy groups filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission earlier this month, alleging that Amazon’s recording practices — particularly for its Echo Dot Kids device — violate a federal law that protects data from children under 13. The group complained that Amazon “fails to clearly explain how to delete information collected about children.”
Today’s new features don’t thoroughly address those concerns, but they do start to make deleting voice data a bit easier. Amazon hasn’t said whether it’ll make more thorough deletion voice commands, such as commands to delete all data or the past week or month of data.
In addition to the new voice commands, Amazon is also launching an “Alexa Privacy Hub” that’s supposed to offer an easy way to learn about how Alexa works and find privacy controls. The hub is fairly bare-bones, but it does offer a relatively quick way to find a link to delete voice recordings.