Amazon confirms: Alexa uses your voice for advertising: how to prevent it

voice assistant
Amazon confirms: Alexa uses your voice for advertising: how to prevent it

it is written on the screen of a smartphone "Alessia"behind the Amazon logo

Anyone who regularly uses Alexa will receive adequate advertising.

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A research team found that Amazon uses voice data from Alexa’s conversations for targeted advertising. When asked about this, American society made no secret of it.

A work published by researchers at the University of Washington, UC Davis, UC Irvine and Northeastern University confirms: Voice data from conversations with Alexa is analyzed for advertising purposes and shared with up to 41 advertising partners. According to the research team, Amazon uses this data to infer user interests and deliver targeted advertising on both the Echo platforms and Amazon’s website. According to the conclusion, this is partly not in compliance with the company’s data protection regulations.

The study concludes that Amazon’s language analysis data appears to attract strong interest from advertising partners and that prices are up to 30 times higher than traditional ads. Amazon confirmed to “The Verge” that it would use the data for its own advertising purposes, but not for sales.

Data only for advertising in your services

A spokesperson said: “If you ask Alexa to order paper towels or play a song on Amazon Music, the purchase recording or playback of the song may be included in the relevant advertising appearing on Amazon or other sites where Amazon advertises “.

But Amazon also uses its knowledge of listeners for the Alexa ecosystem. Then it says, “Customers can receive interest-based advertising when they use premium ad-supported content such as music, radio or news streams.”

But: Developers of so-called “skills” don’t have access to language data, the company continues. The research findings, although the conclusion is factual, are described by Amazon as “inaccurate” and “speculation”. Finally, the company said, “We do not sell our customers’ personal information and we do not share Alexa requests with advertising networks.”

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Researchers believe Amazon needs to be more transparent about how Alexa uses voice recordings. They describe the devices as “black boxes with no open interfaces, allowing independent researchers to reveal what data is being collected or how it is shared and used.”

How to opt out of personalized advertising

Amazon customers who do not want so-called “interest-based advertising from Amazon” can opt out of this form of advertising on an Amazon subpage. You can also find the history of voice recordings on one of the manufacturer’s subpages. There you can review recordings, clear histories and manage permissions.

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