After last week's incident, where a family in Oregon had a private conversation recorded and sent to a third party in Seattle by their Amazon Alexa, lots of people are getting worried about what your Alexa might be recoding without you knowing. Fortunately, there's an easy way to see and hear what Alexa has been capturing during the day to day chatter in your home of office.
Checking out what Alexa hears and records is relatively easy.
- Launch the Alexa app and tap on the "hamburger" menu in the top left corner of the mobile app.
- Tap on Settings.
- Scroll down to the History option in the Alexa Account section.
- You'll now see a list of your interactions with Alexa.
Those recordings will fall into two categories: recordings that Alexa could "understand" and those that it could not. You can filter the list by date.
When you tap on the play button for a recording you can hear what Alexa recorded. I listened to a few of mine and there was no discernible pattern as to what the Echo device I have picked up that triggered it. I have my Alexa in a convenient location but it's not out in the open. For someone to use it, they need to get reasonably close, Most of the recordings were quite muffled and hard to understand.
Recordings can be deleted from your history but only one at a time. This deletes it from your Alexa profile so it disappears from Amazon's servers. Amazon warns that this could degrade your Alexa experience as the audio is used to tune the service to your voice.
The other thing I learned was that the kids ask Alexa some very silly questions.