The concept of privacy is at the heart of all we design and build. Every day, our decisions are driven by our commitment to your privacy. We understand that you may have concerns about privacy, such as if Alexa is still listening. This guide will provide you with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Is Alexa still listening to you?
Although the wake word isn’t magic, since Alexa is powered by a lot of technology, it does enable Alexa to start fulfilling your request. Built-in technology in Echo systems matches what you say to the wake word’s acoustic patterns. This method is known as “keyword spotting.” The computer streams when it senses the wake term. When the system hears the wake word, it sends the audio to Amazon’s safe cloud, which uses the cloud’s more efficient processing capacity to determine if the wake word was actually spoken.
How do you know if Alexa is paying attention?
When we talk about privacy, we don’t want any surprises. You’ll still know when Alexa is listening to your request because a light indicator or an audible tone will appear on your Echo screen. Consider the “On the Air” signs that flash in television studios during a show. These indicators indicate that Alexa has identified the wake word and is currently processing your submission.
Amazon equips all Echo smart speakers with microphone controls for added security. Simply click the microphone off button on your smartphone to switch off the microphones. The system will show a red light, indicating that it can no longer detect the wake word and send audio to Amazon’s secure cloud. Power is given to either the dedicated red light on the screen or the device’s microphones, but not both at the same time, according to the configuration of Echo smart speakers. Simply put, the microphones are turned off when the dedicated red light is turned on. You’ll need to click the microphone button again to turn them back on if you want Alexa to assist you.
With a single press of a button on Echo devices with a screen, you can switch off both the camera and microphones. For added protection, most Echo Show devices have a built-in shutter that can be used to cover the frame.
What is an unintentional wake-up?
Alexa has been known to wake up when no one has said the wake term. It’s close to how someone walking down the street turns their head when they hear their name called out. Alexa may respond similarly, misinterpreting audio that appears to be the wake word but isn’t. For instance, you could tell a friend, “My neighbour just bought a Lexus convertible.” There’s a possibility Alexa misidentified that as the wake term. (By the way, it’s getting better.) Our wake word recognition technology is constantly being improved.) Ask”Alexa, why did you do that?” and you will know.
Even if unexpected wakeups are rare, here’s a trick to make them even rarer. You can adjust the wake word in the Alexa app to “Echo,” “Amazon,” or “Computer” if “Alexa” is too close to the name of someone in your household (Settings > User Settings > [Select device] > Wake Word).
How can you find out what Alexa was listening to?
So, when does Alexa start listening to you? What did Alexa actually record? Check out your voice history, which is a saved record of your voice requests to Alexa, including any audio from an unexpected wakeup, to see for yourself. At any time, go to Alexa Privacy Settings or the Alexa app to check your voice history (Settings > Alexa Privacy > Review Voice History).
Reviewing your voice background is a quick way to see what Alexa has captured and how she interprets your commands. You can listen to the audio that was sent to the cloud, check Alexa’s interpretation of what you said, and see Alexa’s response. You can delete these recordings one by one, by computer, or by date range if you like. You can also erase all of the recordings.
Do you think Alexa pays attention to you?
When you wake up Alexa, she’s still ready to help, but does she listen to you otherwise? No, it’s not true. All we do is built on the basis of privacy.
We’re committed to being open and honest about how Alexa works so you can make educated privacy decisions. We work to give you power over your privacy, whether it’s through the wake term, physical controls over the Echo device’s microphones and cameras, or access to your voice request background. Our mission is for Alexa to not only make your life simpler, safer, and more enjoyable but also for you to feel confident and at ease, while Alexa is doing so. Ask”Alexa, how to check my privacy settings?” is all you have to say. and Alexa will give you a direct connection to your Alexa Privacy Settings in the Alexa app. There, you can learn more about how various privacy features function and choose the privacy choices that are most appropriate for you.