Amazon admits: 'We keep text conversations with Alexa'. Needless to delete them


Amazon has openly acknowledged that, through voice relationships with assistant Alexa, it does not always delete user data. This also happens when users explicitly delete audio files from the account in a letter addressed to Sen. Chris Coons, dated June 28 and published in the last few hours, with the revelation made by Brian Huseman, manager of the Bezos company. The letter seeks at shedding light on Amazon's policies on its digital support services.

The letter is a reply to the specific request from Coons regarding how the firm maintains customer services files incorporated into Echo systems. In fact, some of the senator's doubts have been confirmed: "We maintain speech recordings and written transcripts of clients until they decide to delete them," reads the letter, but some information are not always removed. This is because it is essential to intervene manually in some instances, in others because it is the company's accurate decision.

In other words, Amazon sometimes maintains the text transcriptions without telling the user about the interactions with the attendant (and not the speech recordings). The response from Amazon Vice President of Public Policy also says that the firm is committed to "ongoing efforts to guarantee that transcripts do not stay in any of Alexa's other storage schemes." In short, if the user cancels the voice recordings manually (here we explain how to do it), not all the data will be automatically deleted from the company's systems and saved for an unknown time.

Moreover, in some cases, the company could set up to keep data from the users in order to improve the quality of the service, as it does with other similar technologies as well. Amazon also indicated that it utilizes a comparable strategy to audio files: "We do not store Alexa's reaction audio, but we may maintain some information about Alexa's user interactions, including the behavior the voice assistant conducts after the customer requests." The user and assistant's speech portion, on the other side, is not registered.

We read in the letter that both the business and the voice assistant developers are able to maintain the information on the interaction with the voice assistant, including the user's automatic planning for each service. This guarantees that every activity is readily reproducible in a manner that is convenient for the consumer, according to the business. Performance is also a matter of maintaining the interaction information on your Amazon devices can provide higher velocity to react to instructions.

There have been several issues over the previous few months about the functioning of Alexa and virtual assistants in particular, some of which arose from statements made by some American multinational staff. The issue is that it is feasible to acquire sensitive data about the private life of service users by combining user registrations, and it appears that thousands of staff have access to these documents. Amazon verified that staff are reviewing this information to enhance the virtual assistant's efficiency through machine learning technologies.

But the way in which information collection functions was not evident, nor was it evident why the company's user registrations would seem so hard to delete. The entire affair has created a fuss in the U.S. with the objective of scrutinizing the typical artificial intelligence methods for businesses operating in the sector closely. Alexa now also gathers delicate patient health information and is charged with breaking the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act as it stores data with Amazon Echo Dot Kids on consumers under the age of 13.

In brief, the letter does not fix the issue and Coons promised to further explore the question: "Amazon's response leaves open the chance that Amazon servers will not delete transcripts of the user's vocal interactions with Alexa, even if the user has canceled his voice's registration," he lastly proclaimed the politician in an official note. "People deserve to know how tech businesses use their private data, and I will continue to work with businesses and customers to define the best methods to safeguard the private information of Americans,"


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