How much can Amazon, Google and Apple employees really hear and how can we stop their ears from listening in on private conversations? Just a quick glance around at home and you’ll likely find a few AppleAmazon and Google devices. So popular are some of these branded devices, such as Echo smart speakers, smart phonessmart displays,  HomePods and even the new Facebook Portal Plus. Possibly your home has a smart device every few feet from each other.

In other words, smart gadgets are taking over our homes. And understandably these devices warrant privacy concerns. For instance, these companies have a known history of recording and reviewing users’ voice data. But there are many ways to stop their eavesdropping and protect your privacy.

Above all, you can put a stop to strangers listening to your voice commands and completely wipe all interactions you’ve made with your device, if you’re concerned about your privacy. Now these options are available for Google Home, Amazon Echo, and HomePod devices.

How to Keep Amazon, Google and Apple employees from listening in

Amazon

A step by step guide to putting a stop to Amazon employees listening to your voice recordings.

In the Alexa app

go to Settings

 > Alexa Privacy 

Manage Your Alexa Data.

From here, select Choose How Long to Save Recordings 

Don’t Save Recordings

Confirm.

Next, scroll down to Help Improve Alexa, and switch the Use of Voice Recordings to off. 

Google

If you concerned about Google listening in, even if they have suspended human review of audio recordings here are 2 ways to switch them off.

  1. On your PC, go to myactivity.google.com 

click the Settings Bars in the top left.

Click Activity Controls. 

Next, uncheck the box that says Include Audio Recordings to prevent Google from linking your voice recordings with your account.

2. You can also open the Google Home mobile app.

Select your Profile Icon

 > My Activity 

Saving Activity.

Toggle Include Audio Recordings on or off. 

Apple

Apple announced it would no longer listen to Siri recordings without your permission back in 2019 So if you originally opted in and now want to opt out.

  1. Go to your iPhone’s Settings 

Privacy

 > Analytics and Improvements 

> turn off Improve Siri & Dictation.

2. You can also tap Settings > Siri & Search. Toggle off Listen for “Hey Siri.” 

Read more: Google Assistant: How to improve your privacy by turning it off

How to delete your voice recordings from Alexa, Siri and Google

Amazon

To delete your voice transcripts, Amazon offers three Alexa commands that make it possible.

“Alexa, delete everything I said today”

 “Alexa, delete what I just said.”

“Alexa, delete everything I’ve ever said.”

Or if you want to do this manually you can delete your entire history 

Open the Alexa app and go to Settings 

Alexa Privacy 

Review Voice History.

Next, tap the downward-facing arrow next to Displaying and then the arrow next to Filter By Date. Then you will tap All History 

> Delete All My Recordings. 

Need more information about keeping your information private? Take a look at what to do if you have Amazon Echo privacy fears 

Google

To delete your voice command history, with Google you can just say, “Hey, Google, delete everything I just said.”

OR

Go to myaccount.google.com 

Data and Personalization 

Web & App Activity > Manage Activity 

> Tap the three stacked dots menu at the top of the screen

> Select Delete Activity By and choose from the options — all time, last hour, last day, etc. Tap Delete to confirm.

Need more information about keeping your information private? Check out how to further shore up your Google Home privacy settings

Apple

A previous ISO update feature at Apple allowed you to delete all of your recordings.

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, open your Settings 

Siri & Search 

Siri & Dictation History 

> and select Delete Siri & Dictation History.

On a HomePod, go to HomePod Settings in the Home app and tap Siri History. Then tap Delete Siri History.

Need more information about keeping your information private? Check out these top five new security and privacy settings for your iPhone.

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