Amazon is introducing a pair of new voice commands that will make it easier to delete Alexa recordings. From now on, saying “Alexa, delete everything I said today,” will wipe everything the smart speaker picked up on the day in question. Soon, the command “Alexa, delete what I just said,” will allow users to selectively erase individual recordings.
The news is likely a response to growing privacy concerns and the lack of transparency around the company’s use of consumer data. Alexa users previously needed to go through the app to delete individual recordings, or through the Amazon website to delete their entire recording history.
At the moment, Alexa records every request, using the data to train its AI and improve its speech recognition capabilities. However, that quirk is not widely publicized, and there is no way to opt out of the feature, which raises issues of consent for adults and children alike. Amazon also came under fire when someone’s private in-home conversation was inadvertently (and unknowingly) sent to a coworker.
Despite the controversy, Amazon has continued to push the Alexa platform. The company opened the Alexa mobile SDK to third party developers in November, while Alexa itself was integrated into Huami’s Amazfit Verge smartwatch back in April.