Thursday July 18, 2019
Home Lead Story Amazon Admits...

Amazon Admits it Keeps Data That it Obtains Through its Voice Assistant Alexa

The American people deserve to understand how their personal data is being used by tech companies

0
//
Amazon, Voice Assistant, Alexa
The answers came as a follow-up to a request from Coons dating to last month when the Senator questioned how long the company holds on to voice recordings. Pixabay

Retail giant Amazon has reportedly admitted it does not always delete the stored data that it obtains through voice interactions through its voice assistant Alexa and Echo line-up of smart devices.

As first reported by the CNET, Brian Huseman, Amazon’s Vice President of Public Policy, responded to Delaware Senator Chris Coons on June 28, informing that Amazon keeps the transcripts until users “manually delete the information”.

“Huseman also noted that Amazon had an ‘ongoing effort to ensure those transcripts do not remain in any of Alexa’s other storage systems’.

“There are still records from some conversations with Alexa that Amazon won’t delete, even if people remove the audio, the letter revealed,” the report said on Wednesday.

Amazon, Voice Assistant, Alexa
Retail giant Amazon has reportedly admitted it does not always delete the stored data that it obtains through voice interactions. Pixabay

The answers came as a follow-up to a request from Coons dating to last month when the Senator questioned how long the company holds on to voice recordings and transcripts from Echo interactions.

“The American people deserve to understand how their personal data is being used by tech companies, and I will continue to work with both consumers and companies to identify how to best protect Americans’ personal information,” Coons was quoted as saying in a statement by CNET.

Also Read- Things You Don’t Know about the US Constitution

According to Amazon, other types of Alexa requests, like setting an alarm, reminder, or calendar event, also leave data. (IANS)

Next Story

Developers Can Now Start Building Hindi Skills for Alexa in India

Right now, Alexa can understand some Hinglish commands but these are few and far between

0
Alexa, Amazon, Virtual Assistant
Amazon Echo led the Indian smart speakers market with 59 per cent share in 2018 (Representational image). Pixabay

Amazon on Tuesday announced that developers can now start building Alexa skills for customers in India with the new Hindi voice model available in Alexa Skills Kit (ASK).

Developers would get a headstart and submit skills for certification as the company prepare to offer engaging experiences for Alexa users in one of the most spoken languages in the country, the company said in a statement.

Commercial hardware manufacturers who want to develop Alexa Built-in products for Hindi-speaking customers in India can request early access to the invite-only Alexa Voice Service (AVS) developer preview.

The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) is a collection of free, self-service APIs and tools that make it fast and easy for developers to create skills, or capabilities, for Alexa.

Amazon last year launched a new category of skill called “Cleo” that enables customers in India help Alexa learn Hindi and other languages. The idea was to improve Alexa’s language model and help her gradually speak in local languages.

Lawsuit, Amazon, Alexa
The lawsuit alleges Amazon of saving ‘voice prints’ of millions of children by unlawfully recording their conversations around Alexa-enabled smart devices. Pixabay

Apart from Hindi, users can respond to Alexa’s English statements in Tamil, Marathi, Kannada, Bengali, Telugu, Gujarati and other regional languages.

Alexa is currently available in over 80 countries and speaks more than 14 language variants.

One can sign up for the first webinar on Hindi skill building scheduled on July 24. Developers in India who have their Hindi-language skill certified for publication in India before July 31 would receive exclusive early bird Alexa merchandise.

Also Read: How to Speed up Torrent? Find it out Here

Rohit Prasad, Vice President and Head Scientist for Alexa, told IANS recently that the company is working on infusing regional languages capabilities in Alexa for the Indian market but these are early days.

Right now, Alexa can understand some Hinglish commands but these are few and far between. (IANS)