UMSI researcher: Alexa’s deletion feature a good first step for better privacy

Alexa speaker on the left with a voice bubble on the right. The voice bubble says "Alexa, delete what I just said."

Amazon announced a new Alexa Echo voice command this week: “Alexa, delete what I just said.” Florian Schaub, assistant professor at the School of Information, said the feature is a good first step toward “better-integrating privacy control into the device user experience.”

Schaub has conducted extensive research on users’ control over the privacy settings of their smart speakers. While he believes Amazon is moving in the right direction regarding the usability of privacy controls for smart speakers, it does not address the larger question of data collection.

“The bigger policy conversation we need to have should focus on limiting what data companies can collect and how they can use and share it, as well as creating consistent privacy requirements and protections across companies and industries rather than focusing on specific sectors, such as online services or smart devices,” he said.

Mona Beydoun, ITS Communications
Author: Mona Beydoun, ITS Communications

Mona is an intern at U-M ITS. Contact her at or on LinkedIn.