If you thought that the Amazon Echo speaker was the more privacy-focused smart home speaker out of what’s available, you might think different after this new confirmation.
Amazon confirmed that they will keep your transcripts and voice recordings for essentially as long as they’d like, if you don’t manually delete those memos.
The online retailer giant says they use them to improve their services. Brian Huseman, Amazon Vice President of Public Policy, said that the transcripts are used to “improve Alexa and the customer experience.” Additionally, the recordings are used “to provide transparency to our customer about what Alexa thought it heard and what Alexa provided as a response.”
Amazon said in their letter that you can manually delete and remove these transcripts, but the company “might still retain other records of customers’ Alexa interactions.”
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Delaware Senator Chris Coons raises a big concern with this open-ended response in a statement to CNET:
“Amazon’s response leaves open the possibility that transcripts of user voice interactions with Alexa are not deleted from all of Amazon’s servers, even after a user has deleted a recording of his or her voice,” the lawmaker said in a statement. “What’s more, the extent to which this data is shared with third parties, and how those third parties use and control that information, is still unclear.”
Ultimately, this just proves that there’s just about no privacy when it comes to smart home speakers at all.