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Amazon Echo users can now ask Alexa to delete stored voice recordings

Published May 29th, 2019 2:48PM EDT

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Thanks to a seemingly endless number of privacy scandals involving Facebook and other entities, tech users across the board have recently become much more privacy-minded. In turn, tech companies have become far more pro-active about empowering customers and assuring them that their data isn’t being misused or improperly stored.

As a prime example, Amazon today is making it a lot easier for Echo users to delete voice recordings that reside on Amazon’s servers. In a press release issued today, Amazon notes that Alexa users can now say, “Alexa, delete everything I said today,” and not have to worry about their voice commands living on for eternity. While it was previously possible to delete voice recordings from within the Alexa app, the new voice command streamlines the process considerably.

Amazon further notes that Alexa users will soon be able to delete their most recent request by saying, “Alexa, delete what I just said.”

The new voice command was announced alongside the introduction of the Echo Show 5, a compact and relatively affordable smart display with a 5.5-inch display that will retail for $90.

And not surprisingly, the Echo 5 has its own share of built-in privacy frameworks.

Echo devices are built with multiple layers of privacy protections. As with all Echo Show devices, the new Echo Show 5 includes a microphone/camera off button that electronically disconnects both the microphone and camera, and a clear visual indicator that shows when audio or video is streaming to the cloud. Plus, Echo Show 5 has a built-in camera shutter so you can easily cover the camera, while still being able to talk to Alexa.

Speaking of privacy, you may recall that Amazon got into a little bit of hot water last month when word surfaced that the company has thousands of employees who actively listen to Alexa recordings. The impetus, of course, is to improve overall reliability, but the company’s lack of transparency on the matter naturally rubbed many the wrong way.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.