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You can now ask Alexa to delete your voice history

"Alexa, delete everything I said today."
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Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

As Amazon announced the brand new Echo Show 5 today, it also introduced several new features that will come to all Alexa-enabled devices. One of them is focused squarely on privacy. Instead of having to delete your Alexa voice history manually, you'll soon be able to just say something like "Alexa, delete everything I said today" to wipe out your recordings for that day. You can also say "Alexa, delete what I just said" to remove a recent utterance.

According to Amazon, this feature will start out only allowing the deletion of your last voice recording and those from the day -- "Alexa, delete everything I said today" is live today, while "Alexa, delete what I just said" will roll out over the coming weeks. The company says it will listen to customer feedback to see if people want additional options (like, "Alexa, delete my entire history" perhaps?) or other improvements.

Amazon also confirmed to Engadget that in addition to deleting your voice history, it will also remove the "delete what I said" utterance, leaving no trace of your deletion behind.

If all of that sounds intriguing to you, you'll have to actually opt-in; the feature is not there by default. That means you'll have to go into your Alexa Privacy settings page, review your voice history, and flip the toggle that says "Enable deletion by voice." That's because once this is enabled, anyone will be able to delete your history, not just you. A spokesperson said: "By making this opt-in, customers are able to control for any unintended deletions."

In addition, Amazon is also introducing a new "Alexa Privacy Hub" that will be a one-stop shop for customers to learn about Alexa, Amazon's privacy policies, and how to tweak certain privacy settings.

It's no surprise that Amazon is implementing all of these new privacy features. It's been under a lot of scrutiny lately for allegedly allowing contractors to listen in on conversations and access user locations, and it did fix an exploit last year that allowed Alexa to listen all the time without the wake word. The fact that Amazon is allowing its users to easily delete their history could be a sign that it's acknowledging some of its errors, or is at least trying to make up for it.

The voice-deletion action and the new privacy hub is live starting today.

Update 10:21AM ET: Updated the availability of the different voice actions.

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