You should delete your Amazon Echo recordings — even if you have nothing to hide

Source: AP
Source: AP

"Alexa, where is Aleppo?"

There are plenty of reasons to wipe your Amazon Echo device clean of past recordings: fear of hackers blackmailing you with your ignorant inquiries, fear of the police issuing a warrant for your data in a murder case or maybe just the unsettling notion that hours and hours of your stupid voice are being stored on a server somewhere.

Alexa is always listening to you, but she's not always storing or sending ambient sound over a network, Wired reports. Amazon Echo devices require a wake word ("Alexa") to begin recording audio clips. These bytes are recorded and sent to networks over Wi-Fi.

If you're looking for a clean slate for the new year, you are able to wipe Alexa's brain. You'll need to go to amazon.com/myx, click on "Your Devices," select your device, choose "Manage voice recordings" and then "Delete." Voila.

And hey, you may not just be giving yourself the gift of privacy. Amazon announced that it sold millions of Echo devices worldwide this year. It's not unlikely for your voice to end up on someone else's Echo, and vice versa. Wouldn't it be nice to know your friend erased the audio recording of you drunkenly asking their Alexa to fire up some nasty beats?

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Melanie Ehrenkranz

Melanie is a writer covering technology and the future. She can be reached at melanie@mic.com.

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