We hear a lot these days about technology helping people. From controlling our thermostat to setting the right music for the perfect mood, technology makes our lives easier. Still, just because it’s easy doesn’t necessarily make it safe.
There are rising fears about tech companies eavesdropping on conversations. What’s to stop a company from recording a conversation you have with someone? Most devices need to listen to a conversation in order to know when to activate. When they hear their activation term such as Alexa, Siri, or Hey Google then they respond but what about beforehand? Companies state the devices don’t record anything until they are activated. In the murder case of Victor Collins in 2015 Police issued a warrant to Amazon to retrieve the recordings of the murder’s Amazon Echo account. Amazon refused but they didn’t exactly deny that they didn’t have those records. Some sources say that they delete data after 6 months but others say it’s always around because it helps increase the accuracy of Alexa.
It’s even stated on Amazon that “When you use an Alexa device, we keep the voice recordings associated with your account to improve the accuracy of the results provided to you and to improve our services.”
There is a bright side- you can delete the recordings. Depending on what device you have you can search on Google to find how to delete the recordings from your account. Although Amazon states that deleting the recordings “may degrade your experience using the device.” Still, if you are concerned you have that option especially if you are researching sketchy things for a suspense novel you are writing.