Worried Amazon eavesdrops on your Alexa conversations? Here's how to turn the feature off

Have you ever wondered if someone is on the other end of your Echo device, listening in on your conversations? Amazon confirmed that its employees are, in fact, reviewing audio collected by its devices in an effort to improve Alexa's functions. 

But if the notion of a team of people auditing the end of that argument over who's going to take out the trash gives you pause, there's good news: You don't have to toss your Alexa device in the bin. There is a way to turn the feature that shares your device's audio with Amazon off.

Amazon aims to remove gaps in Alexa’s understanding of human speech by employing a global team of people to review audio clips and listen to what people tell the Alexa-enabled devices.

Those recordings are transcribed, notated and then fed back into the Alexa software so that it can better respond to requests and questions, according to a Bloomberg report.

Alexa’s system is designed to record bits of audio as it waits for a word, such as her name, to wake the system. When a wake word is used, the top of an Echo device lights up and begins recording to send any commands over to the global review team.

In the Bloomberg article, Amazon states no audio is saved unless the Echo is activated.

Still, if you’re worried about Alexa recording your every word, then here are the steps to turn off the feature:

  • Open the Alexa app on your Android or iPhone
  • Hit the menu button on the top left corner of the screen
  • Go to "Alexa account"
  • Then select "Alexa privacy"
  • Under that section, select “manage how your data improves Alexa”
  • Select the off button next to “help develop new features”
  • Then turn off the button next to your name under “use messages to improve transcriptions”