Justin Layne Authentic Jersey  Alexa allows users to disable human review of voice recordings | Technology - EmailScamBusters.com

Alexa allows users to disable human review of voice recordings | Technology

Amazon has given Alexa users the option to disable human review of their voice recordings, and committed to greater clarity about its use of the strategy in future, but says it will not follow Google and Apple in halting the practice altogether in Europe.

Echo owners, and other users of the company’s virtual voice assistant, can turn off human review in the Alexa privacy page by disabling a setting labelled “help improve Amazon services and develop new features”.

A company spokesperson said: “We take customer privacy seriously and continuously review our practices and procedures. For Alexa, we already offer customers the ability to opt out of having their voice recordings used to help develop new Alexa features.

“The voice recordings from customers who use this opt-out are also excluded from our supervised learning workflows that involve manual review of an extremely small sample of Alexa requests. We’ll also be updating information we provide to customers to make our practices more clear.” The new policy took effect last Friday.

The company has not, however, followed its competitors in ending human review altogether. Last week, Apple announced a pause to the review programme after a Guardian report revealed the existence of the grading programme, and the fact that the contractors who work on it regularly hear confidential or personal information as a result of accidental activations. Apple says it is reviewing the programme, and committed to building in the ability to opt out of human review in a future software update.

Earlier in July, Google also paused its review programme, although only within the EU, after a leak of 1,000 recordings from the company’s Assistant smart speaker. More than one in seven of the recordings were accidentally triggered, according to VRT, the Belgian TV channel that broke the news, and many again contained personal information.

As a result of the leak, the Hamburg data protection commissioner ordered Google to cease human review for three months, and referred the case to the Irish data protection commissioner for review.

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