Amazon Echo

Are you one of the 23,139 people that have the Amazon Echo in your home? Ever wonder if it's listening and recording your words even without saying Alexa? Find out below how to review, delete and keep your recording thru Amazon's servers.

Option 1: Delete individual recordings

To delete specific recordings, go to the Amazon Echo app > Settings > History. You'll see a list of all the requests you've made since setting up your Echo. To delete a recording, tap it, then tap Delete voice recordings.

Option 2: Delete everything

For those who don't take chances, there's a way to delete all voice data in one fell swoop. Head to www.amazon.com/myx, sign in, and click Your Devices. Select Amazon Echo, then click Manage Voice Recordings.

Amazon Echo
$179.99
Amazon

The Echo, a cylindrical device that began general shipping in July after months of public testing, is the latest advance in voice-recognition technology that's enabling machines to record snippets of conversation that are analyzed and stored by companies promising to make their customers' lives better.

Other increasingly popular forms of voice-recognition services include Apple's Siri assistant on mobile devices, Microsoft's Cortana, "OK Google" feature for speaking to Google's search engine and "Hi Galaxy" on Samsung's servers. 

These innovations will confront people with a choice pitting convenience against privacy as they decide whether to open another digital peephole into their lives for a growing number of devices equipped with Internet-connected microphones and cameras.

The FTC believes companies selling Internet-connected devices and apps should collect as little personal data as possible and quickly delete it once the information has served its purpose, said Kristen Anderson, an attorney with the commission's division of privacy and identity protection.

Amazon.com says Echo users don't need to worry about the device eavesdropping on them. As a safeguard, according to Amazon, the device's microphone is programmed to come on only after it's activated with the press of a button or the use of a certain word, such as Alexa, the name of the software that powers the Echo.

A blue light on the Echo also comes on when it's recording and remains illuminated when it's listening. Users can also select a sound to alert them when the Echo is recording. Amazon also allows users to review the recordings made by the Echo and delete any or all of them, although the Seattle company warns the device might not work as well without access to the audio history.

The Echo so far is getting mostly glowing reviews. It has received almost five-star from about 90 percent of the roughly 23,000 reviews posted on Amazon.com.

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