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How to use Alexa and still maintain your privacy



Changes to your Amazon smart speaker settings begin in the Alexa app.


Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Smart speakers add a level of convenience to everyday life but there are also some privacy issues associated with using them. We've seen reports of everything from Amazon workers listening to your Alexa conversations for future opportunities for Google Assistant learning to read your mood based on the tone of your voice. If you really, really are concerned about confidentiality, you should probably abandon these devices altogether.

But there are some steps you can take right now to better manage your privacy options. For Amazon smart speaker focus on this record, everything starts in the Alexa app. Let's get started.

Note: You need an Amazon smartphone and an Alexa app login to continue. Click here to learn how to set up an Alexa device and create an account.

Home Security and Integrity : Which home care systems have the best integrity? [1

9659007] Step 1: Open the Alexa app

When you are in the Alexa app, click Settings, Alexa Account and Alexa Privacy in the menu. The Alexa Privacy section gives you the chance to review your voice history, your smart alert history, your smart home device history, your access rights, and how Alexa (and Amazon) use your data.

In the next step, we enter every privacy setting, including what they mean and how to customize them to better suit your needs.

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Step 2: View Your Voice History

Click "Read Voice History" on the Alexa privacy screen. On this page you can view a log of your voice history by time period. Your options include: Today, Yesterday, This Week, This Month, All History, and Custom.

With the custom setting, you can specify a specific date range per day, month, and year.

Once you have set the time frame, you get a list of all your Alexa commands. Click on one to listen to it – or select one or more recordings – and delete them. To delete all your recordings, select "All History" for the date range and you can choose to "delete all recordings for the entire history."

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Download your voice recordings in the Alexa app.


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Step 3: See your warning history

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If you do not does not want Alexa to follow the status of your light switches, thermostats and smart locks.


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Click on "Review smart alert history" on the Alexa privacy screen.

"Alerts" refers to activity you have given Alexa permission to discover. This includes things like the sound of glass breaking or a smoke detector. Like the voice history settings, the Alexa app filters warning history by date range and you can either delete each alert log individually – or delete all at once.

Step 4: See the history of smart home device

Click "Manage smart home devices history" on the Alexa privacy screen.

Alexa gathers information about third-party smartphones that you connect to your smart Amazon speaker. It collects details as if a smart light switch is on or off and your desired set temperature for your smart thermostat.

Select "Delete smart home devices history" to remove these data from the Alexa app. [19659000] Step 5: View Your Permissions Permissions

Click "Manage Permissions Permissions" on the Alexa privacy screen.

This section that determines what information you share with the various Alexa skills you use. You can share much of your data with Alexa without understanding it.

Permits include everything from your street address to your country and postal code and your name, phone number and email address. Choose each authorization individually to see which skill has which information. You may be okay with Uber with your street address, but you may not. Just change the switch to select the desired setting.

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Don't you want Uber to get your address? Switch off the power switch to disable permissions.


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Step 6: See how Alexa uses your data

Click "Manage how your data improves Alexa" on the Alexa privacy screen.

This screen describes how Amazon can use your voice recordings to create new Alexa features. Amazon's wording in the app is: "Alexa education with a wide range of customer recordings helps ensure that Alexa works well for everyone. When these settings are enabled, your voice recordings can be used to develop new features."

Not cool with that? Switch the switch to turn off the setting.

Amazon will also use the messages you send via Alexa to "improve the transcription accuracy." Like the voice recordings, turn the gear to turn off the setting.

Do you still have any questions? Read this Amazon customer service page about Alexa and smart talking privacy.

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