Can Alexa Record Conversations in a Room?

Here's what you need to know about Alexa recording audio

Any technology comes with privacy concerns. Alexa is an always-on device, so it's constantly listening for the wake word and will record anything that comes after it. In the most simplistic way possible: Alexa always listens but doesn't always record. Let's explore what Alexa listens to and how you can ensure your conversations remain private.

Can Alexa Record Conversations Without You Knowing?

While Alexa offers assistance in so many areas of life, it's natural to wonder: Can Alexa record conversations? Does Alexa listen to everything you say? Does Alexa spy on you?

You need to know that Alexa is technically always listening, even without explicitly triggering an Alexa device.

Alexa does not actively record and store all your conversations, but it's always listening for "Alexa," the wake word. Once you say it, anything you say that follows is recorded and stored in the cloud.

On occasion, Alexa may think you've said its name when you haven't. There are reported instances of Alexa sending conversations to people's co-workers or even strangers. This sheds some light on the imperfect nature of voice assistant technology. But unfortunately, this is where the problem lies—there are times where Alexa will record conversations without you knowing.

One of the reasons why Alexa will record conversations is to learn more about you, the user.

You can have better, higher-quality discussions with Alexa when the device uses past conversations to help it understand your wants and needs. Of course, it's a bit of a double-edged sword, but most technology has its pros and cons.

Can You Set Alexa to Record Conversations?

Alexa's default settings record all interactions you have with the device at any time. So it's critical to know Alexa can record conversations, but only after using the wake word.

Thankfully, you can go into your Alexa app and access settings to change your preferences. Amazon has stated Alexa is not always listening. However, it's always better to be safe than sorry.

Using the Alexa settings, here's how to check what conversations have been recorded:

  1. Open the Alexa app and select More.

  2. Locate the Alexa Privacy section under Settings.

  3. You can start with Review Voice History and then set the filter to All Recordings.

    More > Alexa Privacy > Review Voice History in Alexa app.

From there, you'll have access to all of the stored conversations between you and Alexa. You can also delete any conversations you've had or delete your entire conversation history at once.

This may be helpful if you've had conversations that contain sensitive or confidential information. But, ultimately, you're in control of what Alexa can store in its system. So feel free to play around with Alexa's privacy settings to suit your needs.

Bottom Line: Alexa Hears It All

Now that you're aware that Alexa is always listening for its wake word and will record everything said after the wake word is invoked (even if you didn't use it), it may influence your decision to use the services it offers. While the device is highly convenient, you may decide your privacy is a higher priority. If you don't want Alexa listening in at times it's not supposed to, consider taking the necessary steps to stop Alexa from listening to ensure your privacy.C

FAQ
  • Can Alexa record when I'm not home?

    Although you can't set up an Alexa to record everything when you're away from home, you can use Alexa Guard as a type of home security. To turn it on, go to the Settings menu in the Amazon Alexa app and select Guard. Then, when you say, "Alexa, I'm leaving," the device will listen for signs of an emergency, such as glass breaking, alarms, and smoke detectors, and send you notifications on your phone if any occur.

  • Can Alexa record when the internet goes out?

    Alexa devices need Wi-Fi to perform most functions. However, when an Echo device with a built-in smart home hub is not connected to the Internet, Local Voice Control supports specific requests such as controlling light switches. These recordings are sent to the cloud and available for review in the Alexa app after the device regains its Internet connection.

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