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Here’s how to stop Amazon from listening to what you say to Alexa | TribLIVE.com
Technology

Here’s how to stop Amazon from listening to what you say to Alexa

Nicole C. Brambila
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Don’t want Amazon employees eavesdropping on what you tell Alexa?

The AI machine doesn’t magically learn a “Taylor Swift” reference means the musical artist, there is manual processing involved and that means someone at Amazon.com is listening.

Officials explained to the Tribune-Review that the device is designed to respond to a “wake word” such as “Alexa, Amazon, Computer or Echo.”

“The device detects the wake word by identifying acoustic patterns that match the wake word,” an Amazon spokesperson said to the Trib in an email. “No audio is stored or sent to the cloud unless the device detects the wake word (or Alexa is activated by pressing a button).”

Here’s what you can do, according to a CNBC story:

• In the Alexa app on your phone, tap the menu button and go to “Alex Account.”

• Select “Alexa Privacy.”

• Tap “Manage how your data improves Alexa.”

• Turn off “Help Develop New Features.”

• And turn off “Use Messages to Improve Transcriptions”

On Thursday, Bloomberg News reported a team of Amazon employees transcribe recordings to feed back into the software as part of an effort to “eliminate gaps in Alexa’s understanding of human speech and help it better respond to commands.” Click here for the full story.

Nicole C. Brambila is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Nicole at 724-226-7704, nbrambila@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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