Amazon has offered the option to users not to participate in the quality control program of the Alexa virtual assistant, which records user interactions and then analyzes and transcribes voice commands through a human team.
Amazon, Google and Apple have been involved in a privacy controversy related to the recording and analysis of their users in order to improve the services provided in their virtual assistants. These controls, carried out by people manually, were carried out to a very small fraction of the population but some employees said they had heard private conversations from customers and the three companies have presented initiatives to improve data protection.
Amazon will include a disclaimer in the ‘ Alexa privacy ‘ section of the configuration and then in the ‘ Manage how your data improves Alexa ‘ section. The company details that the feature, which can be deactivated, “allows Amazon to use the messages you send with Alexa to improve transcription accuracy.”
With the change in its policies, Amazon explains that voice recordings “can be used to develop new features and manually reviewed to help improve our services.” “Only an extremely small fraction of voice recordings are reviewed manually,” the company clarifies.
By deactivating this feature, Amazon warns its users that ” voice recognition and new features may not work well for you .”
Apple and Google also take action
Google has also confirmed that it suspends audio transcription within the European Union for three months from August 1. This decision has been taken before the administrative process initiated by the Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information in Hamburg (Germany) to prohibit the evaluations of the Voice Assistants and Google Home speakers. This process has been questioned for the breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union.