While the company is engaged in 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.
In addition, Alexa also retains all purchase requests, reminders, and alarms.
You, the user, must take the extra step to delete this data – and even if you do – Amazon doesn’t always follow through.
Despite reports by cnet and other tech sites, this news flew under the radar when reported last Tuesday – two days before Independence Day.
As cnet points out, voice assistants aren’t the only cause for privacy concerns. Any smart home device – locks, doorbells, or appliances – can potentially collect and share your data. Be aware that the price you pay for convenience may mean sacrificing privacy.
Two-and-a-half years ago, I concluded a post with this bluster: “Listen, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and all the other companies collecting vast volumes of our data through intelligent agents, apps and social networking sites, you must afford us a ready means to see and repatriate our data. It’s not enough to let us grab snatches via an unwieldy […]
File sharing and online collaboration is the driving force of Dropbox. It does a stellar job in this area, but like all tools, remains subject to the human factor. What if you, your staff, or someone with whom you are sharing a Dropbox folder accidentally deletes a file? Most everyone has had this experience on their personal computer, so it’s bound to happen sooner or later in the cloud.
If you notice a file has been deleted and less than 30 days have passed, you can easily recover the file on the Dropbox Web site. Here are the steps, as explained in the Dropbox Help Center:
1. Backup. I can’t say that enough times. See How to Backup Your Computer on the PLF Web site for a thorough discussion on the subject. Select Practice Aids and Forms > Technology.
2. Train. Make sure everyone you add to your Dropbox account understands how it works. I’m writing this post because my husband and I had a personal experience with a family member who mistakenly deleted some shared files. We successfully restored the files on the Dropbox Web site (and had a backups, just in case). The family member deleted files after she received an e-mail message warning her that her Dropbox folder was full. At the time our shared Dropbox folder was at about 50% capacity. She had one item in her personal Dropbox folder. Whether this was an error by Dropbox or malicious spam, we don’t know. After the family member deleted the Dropbox files she also deleted the e-mail.
3. Share thoughtfully as all users are not equal. However, if you follow the other two take-aways (backup and train) sharing is far less risky.