Last week, Google and Apple halted their review programs wherein snippets of the recordings between users and the virtual assistants by these tech giants – that is Google Assistant and Siri — were being reviewed by human reviewers for accuracy and quality control. While Google and Apple only halted their programs temporarily, Amazon went a step ahead by introducing a simple way using which users can opt out of human reviews for Alexa voice recordings.
A Bloomberg report back in April this year had detailed how thousands of Amazon employees, including the company’s full time employees and contractual workers, listen to conversations between users and Amazon’s virtual assistant for making Alexa smarter.
Now, nearly four months later, the seattle-based tech giant has introduced simple controls allowing users to opt out of the review process entirely. In addition to introducing new controls, Amazon has also changed the language to reflect clearly that a fraction of Alexa recordings are “manually reviewed”.
“With this setting on, your voice recordings may be used to develop new features and manually reviewed to help improve our services,” reads the section that allows users to make the change.
If you own and Alexa enabled device and want to opt out of the human review for your Alexa voice recordings, just follow these steps:
– Open Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone.
– Tap on the three lines on the top left corner of the app and then tap on the Settings option.
– In the window that opens next, tap on Alexa Privacy option.
– Next, tap on Manage How Your Data Improves Alexa option.
– Now toggle the button which reads ‘Help Improve Amazon Services and Develop New Feature’.
– Tap on ‘Turn Off’ button and you are good to go.
It is important to know that if you turn this feature off, your voice recognition and new features may not work well for you. The Alexa app also shows a message – “If you turn this off, voice recognition and other features may not work well for you” – before you give your final seal of approval.
This doesn’t mean that Amazon won’t record your conversations but with the newly introduced settings you can ensure that Amazon employees aren’t listening in on your private chats. You can also detele your Alexa recordings selectively or all at once using settings available in the Amazon app.