NEW DELHI: Recently, Amazon Alexa was in news after a report surfaced online suggesting that Amazon employees can listen to the voice recordings of Amazon Echo users. Now another report reveals that even after deleting the voice recordings Amazon still has the transcripts of the conversations users had with Alexa.
As reported by CNET, even if a user deletes an Alexa voice recording picked up by Amazon Echo, the company still keeps a copy of the transcript. The report adds that as soon as a user says the wake word ‘Echo’ to ‘Alexa’ to ‘computer’ the digital assistant starts listening and transcribing everything it hears.
Amazon allow its users to delete the voice recordings which gives a false assumption to the user that their privacy is protected. But the company still has that data. The company keep text documents of the audio files on its cloud servers and there is no option to delete them.
The company, however, claims that it erases the text transcripts from Alexa’s ‘main system’, but it is still working on removing them from other areas as well.
An Amazon spokesperson told CNET, “When a customer deletes a voice recording, we also delete the corresponding text transcript associated with their account from our main Alexa systems and many subsystems, and have work underway to delete it from remaining subsystems.”
The new findings come as a major privacy concern for the Amazon smart speaker users. Recently, a group of 19 consumers and public health advocates filed a complaint against Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition.
In the complaint it was mentioned that the device retained children’s data even after the parents deleted the voice recordings. The parents revealed that they ‘Remember’ feature of Alexa stored the data of children and it was not deleted until the parents called the customer service and asked to delete the complete profile.