Between Alexa, Siri, Cortana and the others, what collects the most data?
We accept that a certain amount of personal data must be collected by intelligent assistants in order to function properly. That’s a big part of how they work, and without it, personalized results, directions, or things like local weather wouldn’t give useful information.
But not all smart assistants are created equal. In most cases, you can restrict the information collected by the device and related services. Other times, assistants may collect more details about you than you might think. Tap or click here to see how a smart assistant secretly records you.
You might want to think twice before giving a smart assistant unlimited access to your data. Here are the biggest offenders and how you can limit their scope.
Here is the backstory
If you had to guess which smart assistant collects the most data about you, which one would you choose? If you immediately thought about the wide reach of Google and how the Home app can be used for almost anything, you’d be wrong.
According to research from Reviews.org, the smart assistant that collects more of your data than any other is Amazon’s Alexa. Google still collects a ton of data. It’s just that Alexa collects more.
It turns out that Alexa collects 11 data points, while Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant collects the same amount. Of the five smart assistants, Apple’s Google Assistant and Siri collect the least, looking at just eight data points.
Data collected about you
The large amount of data collected can be scary to see fleshed out, but you have to remember that it is this data that smart assistants rely on to provide you with the best service. If you don’t want to share data, the best solution is not to use a smart assistant at all.
But what data is collected exactly? Well, it varies by device and service. Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri, Samsung Bixby, and Microsoft Cortana all collect your name, time zone, location, and IP address.
Additionally, Amazon Alexa collects your:
- Payment information
- Personal interests saved in your profile
- Personal description as stored in your profile
- Acoustic model of vocal characteristics
Samsung’s Bixby Assistant also picks you up:
- Payment information
- Personal interests
- Personal description
- IP adress
- Your calendar
Information collected about your files
Alexa is the biggest culprit when it comes to collecting data about your files and activity, as it collects 14 data points. Samsung’s next smart assistant, Bixby, collects information from 12 data points.
The information collected by Amazon Alexa is your:
- Voice recordings of intelligent assistant interactions
- Images and videos stored on your account
- Recording of interactions and requests
- Shortcuts added to the smart assistant
- Records of communication requests with your contacts
- Examination files and e-mail sent to the company
- Purchase history
- Navigation history
- Device usage log
- Content downloads, feeds, and app usage
- Images stored in your profile
- File names, dates, times and locations of images
Limit the data collected by Alexa
There are several things you can do to limit the data Alexa collects about you. If you’re worried about your personal data falling into the wrong hands, here’s how:
- Open the Alexa app on your mobile phone and press Following
- Faucet Settings, so Alexa privacy
- The menu will contain several options to restrict the collection of information. You can also view the voice history and choose to delete it. If you don’t want Alexa to share your voice history with Amazon, tap Manage your Alexa data and toggle the next cursor to help improve Alexa.
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