Amazon admits that it may still have copies of users deleted Alexa data

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We should all know by now that there is no such thing as private content on the internet but nonetheless, we continue to be shocked by social media and the tech world’s blatant disregard for privacy and personal data.

Amazon is in the firing line today with this sort of behaviour as the company recently admitted that it doesn’t always delete the stored data that it obtains through voice interactions with the company’s Alexa and Echo devices — even after a user chooses to wipe the audio files from their account. Meaning that those precious intimate conversations that people somehow wanted to share with their Alexa device, could likely still be on the internet and ready to embarrass them even if they thought it was deleted from the all-knowing internet cloud for good.

The reason for this though, at least according to Amazon, is not because the company is trying to disregard their users’ privacy, but rather because their global storage systems are apparently so complex that just because a user has deleted a file on their personal device and their own cloud drive there is a lot of duplication and copying that means they could easily be sitting somewhere else too.  

Whether it’s poor technical design or simple disregard for users’ data, this is not good news for either Amazon or its many Alexa users. News that is no doubt going to cause a lot of consternation with people who believe that their private data should remain their private data. It will be interesting to see if there is any big fallout from Amazon’s customer base after these revelations or if there will be any countermeasures by the company itself to try and address their storage system complexities and prevent these issues in future. This is indeed not the first time Amazon has been caught out with bad privacy practices on their Alexa devices and this revelation only adds to the concerns that people have for its constantly listening AI voice assistant

Or Amazon could just do what other tech giants do and ignore the problem and just create more products and features that will reel customers in and allow them to simply create even more data for their eager data miners to salvage.

Last Updated: July 4, 2019

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