Privacy has always been a major concern with Amazon Echo smart speakers and smart displays. Amazon has already allowed users to check their voice history with Alexa and manage them to ensure better privacy. Amazon is now taking a step further by allowing users to set Alexa’s privacy to process all voice requests on-device.
At its annual hardware event alongside other device announcements, Amazon confirmed this new privacy feature for Alexa. With the new privacy setting enabled, Alexa-enabled smart speakers and displays will process all the voice requests right on the device locally without sending them on the Amazon server.
But there’s a catch. According to Amazon, the feature will only work with Echo devices that feature Amazon’s AZ1 Neural Edge processor and as of now, there are only two speakers that come with this chip — 4th generation Amazon Echo and the new Echo Show 10.
This is temporary though, we can expect to see more Echo devices from Amazon with the AZ1 Neural Edge chip in future. So, the on-device voice processing feature will work on them as well. However, as of now, there are just two of them which will support the feature.
Also, the feature is currently available in the US only, but we can expect a wider rollout soon.
What does this new privacy feature mean for Amazon Echo users
The new feature is extremely helpful especially for those who have big concerns over privacy. This setting will eliminate the major concern people have related to using an Echo device at their home, that they are always listening.
Considering all the personal audio recording and processing that will happen on the device itself, Alexa won’t upload anything to the cloud. This will not only keep things private. Amazon also claims that the voice recording automatically gets deleted once the command is processed, one less thing to worry about.