Amazon

Watch what you say to your Amazon Echo. Amazon may give developers transcripts of your conversations with your Amazon Alexa personal assistant so they can build smarter, more responsive software, according to a new report.

Alexa is the smart assistant software running on Amazon Echo and a few other devices, which can take pizza orders, summon a ride service, or check the weather via voice requests.

Such information sharing would be useful for developers who want to provide more valuable services to customers who want more accurate responses. But such data sharing may also creep out others who already worry about the privacy of their interactions with smart home devices and how that data is used by their technology providers.

Amazon (AMZN, +0.32%) already shares conversation transcripts with select “white listed” developers, an unnamed source told tech news site The Information, which broke the story. Google also reportedly shares chat information from Google Home with developers, according to the Information.

Amazon (AMZN, +0.32%) did not comment for that story. But in a follow-up by The Verge, a spokesman said that when a customer uses an Alexa Skill—Amazon’s term for app—the company provides the developer of that app with information needed to process the request. “We do not share customer identifiable information to third-party skills without the customer’s consent. We do not share audio recordings with developers,” the spokesman said.

Fortune contacted Amazon for comment and will update this story as needed.

Given that both Microsoft (MSFT, +1.04%) and Apple (AAPL, +0.40%) are working on Echo competitors, Amazon will face increased competition from two very resource-rich rivals. Both the Microsoft Invoke and Apple HomePod gadgets are due this fall. (Amazon is reportedly working on a new Echo with better sound capabilities, according to Engadget.)

  • richardwicks

    I work in Silicon Valley.

    I find it unlikely they don’t already do this. It’s just part of development to fit your product to your customer. What they’ll be working on setting up the software to better understand customers, and to answer questions better – to do that, you have to duplicate the inputs given to the machine.

    Having said that, I’m surprised anybody would allow such a machine into their home.

    • gmatch

      Correct – same applies to smartphones.

      • richardwicks

        It applies to any phone.

        Easy to detect on a phone though, at least for me.