Amazon Alexa keeps your data with no expiration date, and shares it too

Amazon Alexa keeps your data with no expiration date, and shares it too


If you have hangups about Amazon and privacy on its smart assistant, Alexa, you're not alone. Even after Amazon sent answers to a US senator who had questions about how the tech giant retains voice data and transcripts, the lawmaker remains concerned about Alexa's privacy practices.

Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in May, demanding answers on Alexa and how long it kept voice recordings and transcripts, as well as what the data gets used for. The letter came after CNET's report that Amazon kept transcripts of interactions with Alexa, even after people deleted the voice recordings. 

The deadline for answers was June 30, and Amazon's vice president of public policy, Brian Huseman, sent a response on June 28. In the letter, Huseman tells Coons that Amazon keeps transcripts and voice recordings indefinitely, and only removes them if they're manually deleted by users.

Huseman also noted that Amazon had an "ongoing effort to ensure those transcripts do not remain in any of Alexa's other storage systems." But there are still records from some conversations with Alexa that Amazon won't delete, even if people remove the audio, the letter revealed.

 

Privacy concerns aren't just limited to voice assistants, not with smart technology finding its way into more household items like doorbells and locks. And tech companies aren't always up front about what kind of data they collect or how much control you have over it. 

"The American people deserve to understand how their personal data is being used by tech companies, and I will continue to work with both consumers and companies to identify how to best protect Americans' personal information," Coons said in a statement. Read more




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