YES, THEY ARE LISTENING
It’s no secret that smart home devices and personal assistants such as Alexa and Google Home record your voice when you give them commands. They do this for practical reasons, and it’s part of how they work so well.
While a lot of people just sort of accept that your web usage is being tracked, mined, and recorded (Unless you take steps to circumvent that) some folks are understandably weirded out by the idea of your voice recordings being stored somewhere.
Apple users have less to worry about, as the questions they ask Siri aren’t accessible. They are logged differently, using a string of random numbers instead of a user name, or other identifiable data, and Apple erases the connection between those queries and the numerical codes after six months.
WANT TO BE EMBARRASSED?
Everything you have asked a Google powered assistant can be accessed and listened to by you. This includes the home assistant, as well as on your phone or laptop. Just head on over to https://myactivity.google.com/ while logged into your Google account and you can hear all those things you asked it when you needed an answer right away.
Alexa users can find a list of all their questions by going into Settings > History in the Alexa app. If you use more than one Alexa device, each one will have its own listenable recordings.
SO YOU WANT TO CLEAR YOUR HISTORY?
Have no fear, Dear Readers. The wonderful nerds over at Popular Science have compiled a series of how-to guides on how to go about doing just that.
The Wired Magazine article linked above also has some handy hints on how to stop them from recording you at all, though doing so on a long term basis will turn a smart speaker into essentially a pricey paperweight.
Well there you have it, Dear Readers, a little bit of control over the data that flows into all the things that make your life convenient!