If you’ve ever wondered just how much information smart devices store about you, a recent announcement from Amazon might provide some answers to that question.

Amazon has confirmed that your questions and conversations with their Echo device are stored indefinitely. This information has arisen off the back of an investigation by a US Senator into data retention periods. Last month, a senior membor of staff at Amazon announced that the transcripts of these recordings are stored until a customer requests that they be deleted.

According to Amazon, the conversations are retained so that the device’s responses and software can be improved. They also said that audio isn’t recorded unless the wake word is provided, which is set to ‘Alexa’ by default.

“We do not store the audio of Alexa’s response (…) However, we may still retain other records of the customers; Alexa interactions, including records of actions Alexa took in resonse to the customer’s request.”

Amazon spokesperson


How to delete your stored conversations

Back in May, Amazon made some changes to the Amazon Echo so that it would be easier to for you to delete your previous questions and recordings. For recent activity, you can simply say “Alexa, delete everything I said today”, or “delete what I just said”, for example.

However, for older conversations, there’s another way to go about it:

(1) On your smartphone, download and open the Alexa application;

(2) Within the app, open the menu using the button in the top-left corner;

(3) Tap on the ‘Settings’ option at the bottom;

(4) Tap on the ‘Alexa Account’ option at the top of the menu;

(5) Select ‘History’ and you can delete each entry individually.

Alternatively, if you want an option that will allow you to delete everything at once in bulk, then head over to Amazon’s Device page, which you can find in Google. Ensuring you’re signed in, choose the menu button beside the device you want to manage, then select ‘Manage Voice Recordings’ and hit ‘Delete’.

If you need any help navigating through your device management page, then WiseGuys can help. Give us a call on 0808 123 2820 if you’d like to run through this or discuss any other security concerns you have.