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Home / Tips and Tricks / Do Amazon Echo have privacy fears? This is what you can do

Do Amazon Echo have privacy fears? This is what you can do



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Does Alexa always listen?


Chris Monroe / CNET

Security researchers have recently found malicious apps that can listen to through your Echo speaker. And this is not the first privacy case ̵

1; since we first became acquainted with Amazon's Echo devices, the company has been challenged by consumers who have privacy issues about the microphones that always listen to your assignment. Alexa users became even more disturbing after they discovered that Amazon is storing your audio recordings for reviewing reviewed by Amazon employees .

During the Amazon event in September, SVP Dave Limp discussed the problems saying, "We care. Privacy is absolutely fundamental to everything we do in and around Alexa."

To that end, the giant technology company has added new commands to help users know exactly what information Alexa is collecting and makes it easier to delete voice recordings . There are also some new security features of the camera from the Echo Show ($ 230 with Amazon) (which is the Amazon Echo ($ 70 with Amazon) with the screen) to prevent that people are worried about being looked over.

If the new Amazon privacy measures are not enough for you, look at these answers as a way to protect your data.

Can the Alexa skills listen to me?

Recently, security researchers discovered malicious skills that use the Unicode string – which cannot be pronounced. This lets your speaker listen and wait until you say the magic word, allowing the app to listen to you. The researchers have found that the apps have been removed, but you still have to be careful what apps you download.

Go through your skills in the Alexa app and switch off everything that you haven't used in a while. Read the reviews about apps that you are not sure to check if nothing has been detected.

Read Alexa and Google Assistant fall victim to bugging apps for more information.

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You must enable the Voice Removal feature in the Alexa app before you can use the privacy feature.


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

How to manage and delete audio recordings on your Amazon Echo

You can view the audio transcripts of your Alexa commands and delete them in the Alexa app . Or you can ask Alexa to delete your recordings, but you must first enable the setting. Then you can say "Alexa, delete what I just said" or "Alexa, delete everything I said today."

You can also manage your Alexa data in the app and choose to automatically delete recordings after three or 18 months. Go to your Alexa Privacy settings and switch to automatically delete recordings .

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This is what Amazon has revealed about Alexa privacy for a …



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Do Amazon employees know what I am saying at all times?

The Amazon Echo only starts recording when you say a command to Alexa. As soon as you say the wake word, such as Alexa or Echo, it starts recording the audio and storing it in the Alexa app on your phone. The transcripts and voice recordings are then uploaded to the Amazon servers for processing. If you do not want your Echo to always listen to the wake word, switch off the microphone by pressing the microphone mute button on top of the device.

Amazon says that once they have the transcripts, they view an annotation manually and annotate a small fraction of a percent of Alexa requests to help improve the voice assistant. However, you can opt out of this feature and prevent Amazon employees from listening to your recordings .

Go to Settings > Alexa Privacy > Manage your Alexa data > disable the setting that says Use voice recordings to use Amazon services improve .

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Press the microphone button to switch off the microphone.


Ian Knighton / CNET

How do I know for sure that the camera of my Echo Show is not recording me?

If you have one of the earlier Echo Show devices, such as the first and second generation, they are not equipped with privacy shutters – but you can turn the camera off by pressing the power button. You know it's out when the red light comes on.

The lens is not covered, but you can always place a sticker or thick tape over the lens if it bothers you.

The Echo Show 5 ($ 90 from Amazon) or the new Echo Show 8 have built-in privacy shutters that cover the lens when not in use. ] /00100lportrait-00100-burst20190621163945094-cover-2.jpg cialis19659039Buch00100lportrait-00100-burst20190621163945094-cover-2 cialis19659016-16The Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8 have built-in privacy shutters.


Chris Monroe / CNET

Does Amazon Echo Show use face recognition?

Unlike Google Nest Hub Max the Amazon Echo Show does not use face recognition to know that you are yourself – although it is worth mentioning Amazon has an optional face detection service called Recognition that you can use to add image and video analysis to your applications.

Amazon also owns Ring, a doorbell camera & # 39; s company, which in the past considered adding face recognition to its video doorbells . That company has also recently received warmth due to its controversial partnerships with some police forces .

Can other users on my Echo account see what I'm asking Alexa?

Everything you ask for Alexa is stored in the Alexa app as transcripts and voice memos. So if you share the app with others, they can see every assignment you've given Alexa. If you're worried about someone seeing what you've said, for example if you've instructed Alexa to buy a gift, remove the transcripts immediately (see the first section above).

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If you share your Echo account with others, they can see everything you say to Alexa.


Chris Monroe / CNET

I have connected Alexa to personal services. Is it safe?

If you use Alexa to gain access to your bank account information or have it connected to your security system ($ 44 at Amazon) you are probably wondering what prevent someone from accessing get to that information. Fortunately, most banking services require that you create a PIN code for extra security, so that only you have access to your bank account information.

For security systems, find a code that allows you to use a personal code so that only you or other household members can disable the alarms. If your security system does not have a PIN function, keep your Echo away from doors and windows to prevent outsiders from accessing – or better yet, you will get a different security system .

Want to know more about your Amazon Echo? Check out these 10 craziest things you can have Amazon Echo do and these 5 surprising things that you didn't know you could do Amazon Echo .

Originally published earlier this month. Updated to add new information about malicious apps.

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