Smart speakers have become the center of many connected homes. There are users who have delegated their entire lives to assistants like Alexa , while others continue to view this technology with fear. One of the great mysteries surrounding Amazon’s voice assistant is whether or not it listens to us all the time. And that is the question that we will solve in the next few lines.
Does it record you or does it not record you?
There are two types of users: those who would put an Amazon Echo even in the bathroom and those who think that it is nothing more than a cute version of the HAL 9000. Buying a first Echo or a HomePod can even create a family conflict, since everyone in the house can agree to introduce such an element into the household. As a curiosity, older people seem to have fewer taboos towards these technologies than younger people.
One of the reasons why virtual voice assistants have earned some rejection from the public is the difficulty in knowing how they treat our data . Although manufacturers have already explained actively and passively how their devices work, there is still a lot of mistrust. And this is where we ask ourselves the question. Does Alexa record our conversations without our permission ? Is she an ally or is it something similar to putting a KGB agent in our living room?
Alexa can’t record you without your permission
According to Amazon engineers, your Alexa device is only allowed to record once it hears its wake word , which can be Echo, Alexa, or Amazon. Once the device detects the word, its blue light will turn on , and that is when it will start recording.
And now you’re wondering how Alexa can hear you if she’s not recording. Well, actually, every microphone is registering vibrations even if it is not connected. Alexa—and all assistants—are able to recognize that wake word. Only after activation , the device is allowed to record your voice and send it to Amazon’s servers, since the requests we make to Alexa are not processed locally.