How To Delete Voice Recordings From Alexa, Google Assistant And Siri

Photo: Pixabay

We can control so many devices through voice interactions with digital assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant. This can be incredibly convenient, but it can also be nerve-wracking, knowing that technology companies now possess recordings of your voice and interactions.

That’s not to say digital assistants are unsafe to use, but users should know what data is being collected and why — and how much control they have over the way it’s used. Amazon, Apple and Google all collect voice data in some form. They also all let users manage what and how the data is saved — though some are a lot better at this than others.

Alexa

Everything you say to Alexa, via whatever devices you’re using, is stored on Amazon’s servers. You can manage all of this data through your Amazon account, and you can also change these settings for each device using the Alexa app.

  1. Go to Amazon’s voice data management page.

  2. The page features several different headings, each one containing specific stored data/settings. You can use them to delete your voice history, smart alert history and device-specific history.

  3. Check each of these pages and delete any data you don’t want to be saved — especially the “Alexa Privacy” page.

  4. To opt-out of Amazon using your recordings to improve Alexa’s capabilities, visit the Alexa Privacy page and click on “Manage how your data improves Alexa.” Then, disable “Use Voice Recordings to Improve Amazon Services and to Develop New Features” and “Use Messages to Improve Transcriptions.”

Google Assistant

Much like Alexa, all Google Assistant history from devices tied to your Google account can be viewed from any device you can use to access your account settings

  1. Go to your Google activity page.

  2. Scroll down to “Voice & Audio Activity.”

  3. Click or tap “Manage Activity.”

  4. From here, you can search through the history using the search bar, delete based on keywords, date, and/or product-type, or delete each entry individually.

  5. You can disable voice interaction tracking by going back to the main Google activity page, then clicking or tapping the blue slider next to “Voice & Audio activity” to disable it.

Siri

Apple often gets a pass when it comes to privacy and data concerns, but even if it is “safer” about handling your voice data, it’s still collecting and saving it — and was having real people listen to snippets to improve Siri’s capabilities.

Unlike other companies, Apple takes an all-or-nothing approach to deleting and blocking recordings of your Siri interactions. You’ll have to stop using the assistant entirely (or delete your Apple account) to remove any recordings Apple has kept.

To “disable” Siri in iOS 11+, you’ll need to:

  1. Go to Settings > Siri & Search.

  2. Disable “Listen for ‘Hey Siri” and “Press Side Button for Siri.”

  3. Accept the warning to fully disable the features.

  4. Next, go to Settings > General > Keyboard.

  5. Disable “Enable Dictation” and accept the warning.

  6. Repeat for every Apple device you own.


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