How to … delete your voice data from your smart speaker

Clear out your voice commands from Google and Amazon in a couple of clicks

 

Did you invest in an Amazon Echo device in the past few months? Perhaps you are one of the early adopters for Google Home, which isn’t officially available in Ireland just yet.

Either way, you may be aware that the devices are recording your commands and sending them to the cloud to process your requests, from demands to turn the temperature in the living room down to something below tropical, to playing those obscure tracks.

All that data is useful for a few reasons. Most relevant to consumers is that it makes the devices more accurate when figuring out your voice requests. Every time you tell it that it gets something right, that gets filed away. Ditto when it gets something wrong.

It also adds to the overall picture Google and Amazon are building of their customers using their own data, although Amazon says it doesn't use the data for advertising or customer recommendations.  

So with that in mind, maybe you want to limit exactly what Amazon and Google have collected about you.

To delete your Amazon Alexa data

Open the Alexa app. Click the menu button, and select Settings. Scroll down to History. You’ll see a list of interactions with Alexa, which you can either listen to - and cringe - or delete, one by one.

If you want to delete everything at once, you’ll need to go into your Amazon account on a computer. Go to Amazon.co.uk and sign in, then open Your Account>Content and Devices and select the Your Devices tab. Click the three dots beside your Echo device in the list, and you’ll get an option to Manage voice recordings. When you select that, a pop up window will warn you about the impact deleting the recordings will have - it may make Alexa less accurate - with delete button in the bottom right of the window. Click delete.

To delete voice data on Google:

Google stores all your voice data on your account too, so to delete it you need to go to myactivity.google.com. That will show a list of everything you’ve done while signed in to your Google account, from searches and directions to Play Store purchases and audio content.

You can filter by individual products, so click Filter by date & product, and check Voice & Audio. Hit search, and you’ll get a list of results. You can delete them individually or one by one.