Digital assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are designed to learn more about you as they listen, and part of doing so is to record conversations you’ve had with them to learn your tone of voice, prompts, and requests. Recently, this feature-not-a-bug has landed Amazon in a string of bizarre headlines; in March users reported that their Echo speakers began spontaneously laughing, while last week a family in Portland said their device recorded and sent conversations to a colleague without their knowledge. For these instances, Amazon claims that the devices were likely triggered by false positive commands.
It’s not uncommon for smart speakers to pick up a random part of your everyday conversations and misunderstand it as a wake word (especially if you may have changed the Alexa trigger to a more common word, like “Computer.”) If you’re curious what Alexa has been hearing and recording in your household, here’s a quick way to check.
First, open the Alexa app on your smart device. Tap the hamburger icon on the top left side of the screen to open the menu options. Click on the Settings menu, then find History.