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Amazon Alexa Users Can Now Disable Human Review of Voice Recordings

The opt-out option is disabled by default.

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Amazon Alexa Users Can Now Disable Human Review of Voice Recordings

Like Apple and Google, Amazon uses human review to refine its Alexa voice assistant

Highlights
  • New options went live on Friday
  • The human reviews will continue
  • Amazon says only a small section of Alexa requests are reviewed

Amazon has started offering Alexa users the option to disable human review of their voice recordings. The option is now available via the Alexa smartphone app and is enabled by default. So, if you don't want Amazon employees or contractors listening to your Alexa voice history, you can disable it now. In a statement, Amazon said that the change went live on Friday. Amazon's decision comes after Apple was caught in a privacy scandal over the company's contractors listening to some really private stuff.

The option to disable the human review of Alexa voice recordings can be found in Settings > Alexa Privacy > Manage How Your Data Improves Alexa settings in the Alexa smartphone app. The Manage How Your Data Improves Alexa page offers two options – Help Improve Amazon Services and Develop New Features and Allow Amazon to use messages you send with Alexa to improve transcription accuracy. Both of these options are enabled by default. You need to disable these for stop possible human review of your Alexa voice recordings.

“We take customer privacy seriously and continuously review our practices and procedures,” Amazon told The Guardian in a statement. “For Alexa, we already offer customers the ability to opt out of having their voice recordings used to help develop new Alexa features.”

“The voice recordings from customers who use this opt-out are also excluded from our supervised learning workflows that involve manual review of an extremely small sample of Alexa requests. We'll also be updating information we provide to customers to make our practices more clear,” Amazon added.

Unlike Apple, which has temporarily suspended the human reviews to review the process, Amazon will continue to use human review process to improve Alexa. Google had also suspended human reviews for voice assistant recordings in Europe.

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