Amazon keeps what you ask Alexa forever unless you delete it, so here's how

Key Points
  • Amazon stores the things you speak to Alexa indefinitely.
  • There are several ways to delete the history of things you've asked Alexa.
  • Here's how to delete the voice recordings Amazon saves from when you speak to Alexa.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, founder of space venture Blue Origin and owner of The Washington Post.
Alex Wong | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Amazon stores the things you ask Alexa indefinitely. But it's easy to delete that data from Amazon's servers if you know how.

This issue has been in the news because Senator Chris Coons, D-Del., recently wrote to Amazon asking about how it stores data about consumers. Late last month, Amazon's vice president of public policy Brian Huseman responded by admitting the company stores Alexa transcripts unless and until a customer asks to delete them.

Huseman explained Amazon keeps this data to improve Alexa's response and reiterated that audio isn't sent to Amazon unless an Amazon Echo hear's the wake word, which is defaulted to when people speak "Alexa."

In May, Amazon made it easier to delete some of the things you ask Alexa. Here's how:

First, you can say "Alexa, delete everything I said today," or "Alexa, delete what I just said."

But, if you want to delete things you said earlier, do this:

  • Open the Alexa app on your phone.
  • Tap the menu icon on the top-left corner of the app.
  • Tap "Settings" at the bottom.′
  • Tap "Alexa Account" at the top of the page.
  • Select "History."

However, this process only lets you delete things one by one. If you want to delete everything at once, do this:

  • Visit Amazon's Device page
  • Select the menu button to the left of the Echo device you'd like to manage. (The menu button looks like three little dots stacked on top of one another.
  • Tap "Manage Voice Recordings"
  • Tap "Delete."

That's it. Now you've deleted everything you've spoken to Alexa, which means, according to Huseman, the voice recordings will be removed from Amazon's servers.

Is Amazon Alexa spying on you?
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