According to Amazon’s Alexa terms of use, Amazon collects most of what you speak to Alexa. That includes any interactions with Alexa, the location of the product that Alexa is running on, and your voice instructions. Specifically, Amazon says this:

Your messages, communication requests (e.g., “Alexa, call Mom”), and related instructions are “Alexa interactions,” as described in the Alexa Terms of Use. Amazon processes and retains your Alexa Interactions and related information in the cloud in order to respond to your requests (e.g., “Send a message to Mom”), to provide additional functionality (e.g., speech to text transcription and vice versa), and to improve our services.

Amazon says it saves these recordings in the cloud until you ask to delete them. But when I checked, it had stored conversations back to March 2016, but I had an Echo since September 2015, so it’s not perfectly consistent. Either way, you should assume that anything you say to Alexa will be stored by Amazon indefinitely.

But, understand: Both Amazon’s Alexa privacy FAQ and an Amazon spokesperson says Amazon does not record your conversations all of the time, but only when you speak the wake word “Alexa.”

In other words, Amazon promises Alexa isn’t always listening to you.

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