Dec 06, 2016 06:15 AM EST
Alexa and Google Home Record Your Voice Commands. But What Happens After? [Video]
If you are one of who owns an Amazon Echo or the Google Home, know that your cylindrical assistant is always listening in on you. That cylindrical electronic device though convenient for many is also recording every word you say and storing it somewhere, but where?
If you are comfortable with what you do online, then using Alexa and Google Home should not alarm you. Using the internet itself gives Google and other browsers including the retail site Amazon logs of your normal web activity. The same process is employed by both devices, except, instead of web activity, they record snippets of your own voice.
For anyone concerned about privacy, this is a big deal, but a sample of your voice is what makes these devices work, according to Wired. So where does the data go? In this case, a snippet of your voice is sent to a server to process your request.
The servers are located miles away and need an internet connection to make the system work. However, before they do, they need trigger words for them to activate. In this case, "Alexa" or "Ok, Google." Once those words are spoken, the device wakes and listens more intently on what you are going to say next. The device then "captures" your request and send it over the internet to their cloud brains.
Thus, a voice footprint is made and stored in the servers of these devices. But they do need to listen all the time on alert for the trigger words. It "hears" your conversations but those aren't stored or sent over the network.
Nothing is impossible if hackers would tap into your device to actually listen in on you. But accordingly, Amazon and Google provides encryption that would render your devices unfit to be used as listening devices. The greater risk, however, is someone getting your Amazon or Google password and seeing your log online.
There is no way for you to stop this unless you press the mute button on the device, according to The Verge. As for your logs, going to myactivity.google.com for Google Home and amazon.com/myx on Amazon Echo, and deleting them from there is the only way. You may get a warning regarding losing personalization features but that is the only way until Amazon and Google can provide the same service without recording anything.
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