How Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung treat your voice data

Alexa. Cortana. Google Assistant. Bixby. Siri. Hundreds of thousands and thousands of humans use voice assistants advanced by Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and Apple every day, and that number is developing all of the time. According to a recent survey conducted by way of tech book Voicebot, ninety.1 million U.S. adults use voice assistants on their smartphones as a minimum month-to-month, whilst seventy-seven million use them of their cars, and 45.7 million use them on smart speakers. Juniper Research predicts that voice assistant use will triple, from 2.5 billion in 2018 to 8 billion in 2023.

What most users don’t comprehend is that recordings in their voice requests aren’t deleted right away. Instead, they’ll be stored for years, and in a few cases, they’re analyzed through human reviewers for exceptional assurance and function development. We asked the principal players within the voice assistant area how they handle information series and review, and we parsed their privateness rules for extra clues.


Amazon says that it annotates an “extremely small pattern” of Alexa voice recordings in an effort to improve the patron enjoy — for instance, to educate speech reputation and natural language know-how systems “so [that] Alexa can higher apprehend … requests.” It employs 0.33-celebration contractors to check those recordings, however, it says it has “strict technical and operational safeguards” in the region to save you abuse and that that

A person doesn’t have a direct get right of entry to figuring out records — simplest account numbers, first names, and device serial numbers. All facts are handled with high confidentiality, and we use multi-element authentication to limit get admission to, carrier encryption, and audits of our control environment to protect it,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an announcement. In internet and app settings pages, Amazon gives customers the option of disabling voice recordings for capabilities development. Users who choose out, it says, may nonetheless have their recordings analyzed manually over the regular direction of the review method.

Apple discusses its evaluation process for audio recorded by using Siri in a white paper on its privacy page. It explains that human “graders” overview and label a small subset of Siri data for development and first-rate assurance purposes. Every reviewer classifies the satisfaction of responses and indicates the perfect movements. These labels feed reputation systems that “usually” decorate Siri’s high quality, it says.


Award-winning pop culture fanatic. Typical zombie practitioner. Wannabe foodaholic. Baseball fan, traveler, hiphop head, Saul Bass fan and doodler. Working at the sweet spot between design and computer science to express ideas through design. I am 20 years old.